The Realization: 9 Signs You Need a New EHR

Casey Waldron | December 11, 2019 at 6:48 AM

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is one of the most impactful technological advancements ever. It comes with several applications like patient scheduling, check-in, and check-out, among other uses.

The Realization Blog Post Graphic

Even though earlier EHR systems had complications, they have undergone improvements in software and hardware. You might be considering getting the newer and better versions for your health facility. These are the factors that will determine if you need a change of EHR.

1. Inflexible EHR Workflow

An EHR that assures proper workflow comes with top-of-the-range technology. It has functionalities that anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions. An EHR should be in a position to improve coordination of care by automating communications.

Before you get a new EHR, be sure to carry out an in-depth assessment of your needs based on daily workflow. Look for its efficiency to the hospital staff, patients, and other stakeholders. The critical areas to check during workflow assessment are patient check-in and check-out, scheduling, and e-prescribing. You can also look into the billing, laboratory orders, and office discharge.

A flexible EHR is the best way to maximize efficiency, quality, and safety in healthcare.

2. Your EHR Does Not Grow with YOU

You likely purchased an EHR system that satisfied your current needs. With time, your operations will grow to handle more patients, inventories, and at times new locations. To maintain stability in services, you need an EHR that can handle the increase in work volume.

You should consider an expandable EHR. The scalable system will help you save costs. Although it might look costly to purchase and implement new systems, it’s a great financial decision, especially if your business has high chances of expansion. An EHR that grows at a similar pace with your business is the best way to ensure full-time productivity.

3. Your EHR Vendor Dissatisfaction

A competent in-house IT staff combined with a cooperative vendor will be the best combination for using all the available services of an EHR system..

Like the other services, EHR is a competitive sector with several vendors. You need a vendor who offers the best customer services. They should be in a position to meet all your needs and train you on features that you don't understand. Whoever you deal with must provide value for investment by having reliable and up-to-date EHR systems.

Most vendors are privy to clients’ complaints and are attempting to make changes. You don’t have to continue in frustrations any longer. Get a new vendor who will provide you the best EHR services according to your preferences.

4. Regularly Reverting to Paper

The primary need for EHR systems is to eliminate the use of paper records. From time to time, it is normal that you might revert to paper for different reasons. The main concern is when you have to resort to paper due to the EHR failure.

Your operations rely on the efficiency, speed, and the readily available nature of the EHR. You do not want to invest in a system that is frequently down.

If you don’t get the reliability from your current EHR, it is time for you to consider a new system.

5. Regular New Bills for Hidden Expenses

Some EHR vendors want to lure you into purchasing their systems by offering lower initial purchasing cost. They will then recover the lost amount in constant upgrades, maintenance services, and other charges. This business model is expensive in the long run.

If you notice your vendor frequently introduces new upgrades and additional features at a price, you better reconsider your engagement. You might not notice, but small regular fees add up quickly.

Before installing the new EHR, confirm all the charges before signing up. The new system should come with a reasonable buying price and automatic upgrades.

6. Stagnating EHR Software

The more technology advances, the more upgrades they need for better operations. To keep up with the current trends, your vendor should provide you the latest software upgrades for efficiency.

Medicine is a fast-paced and busy field; you need a fast system to help you complete various tasks. Stagnating software experiences slow load times, endless spinning, and difficulty in navigating tasks. These inconveniences will slow down your operation, which is frustrating to both staff and patients.

Getting a new EHR with the right software will help you fight competition. You will offer the best health care services, which are essential in retaining the patients.

7. Lack of Mobile Access

You can integrate mobile devices into several healthcare practices due to accessibility and convenience. Almost all medical practitioners own mobile phones or tablets. An EHR that provides mobile access is vital in promoting mobility. The physicians can easily access and update details even when they are away from the premises.

Most medical practitioners use mobile devices in health record maintenance, administration, and seeking information. Your EHR system should be compatible with hand-held devices, allowing ease of communication, access to information, and convenience.

Consider changing the service provider or the EHR system if you fail to get the benefits of mobile access.

8. Consistent Technical Problems

The EHR system plays an essential role in ensuring seamless hospital operations. You need a system that you can rely on full time to complete your tasks.

Technical issues can lead to poor operations due to the possibility of erroneous data. It is also costly as you have to pay the professional team for continuous repair. You might also have to retrieve backup data, which requires space to keep and operate.

The system should be easy to use by the staff, and it should easily integrate into your current conditions. Anything hard to use is detracting and will slow down output.

Get a new EHR system if you continuously face these technical challenges for operational efficiency.

9. The Need to Improve Productivity

The primary need for EHR is to improve productivity. The right EHR system should make information easy to access, easy to share, and the system should be easy to learn and operate.

What to Look for When Upgrading EHR

Once you have established the need for a new EHR, the next step is finding the right system for your facility. No one system fits all. Use these nine factors to help you find the best EHR for your clinic.

Find out the new Features

You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a system with minor changes that will not impact your operations. You must establish how the changes will improve how things run in your facility. Consider its effects on staff and the general disruption to your facility.

Run the demo

Ask the vendor to give you a demo to run before committing to the full version. The demo allows you to experience the proposed changes first hand. Be keen when running the demo. This is the time to grade the benefits of the new system.

Take note of how the staff and other people interact with the demo. You can proceed to commit to the full version when you are satisfied with the demo.

Plan the Whole Upgrade

Changing an EHR system is a big deal to the company. It affects almost every sector. You, therefore, need to plan to ensure everything runs seamlessly during and after the change. Set up all the hardware and technical support you need during the process.

Planning also helps in determining how you will avoid facility penalization during the changing period. Planning ensures the change doesn't hurt your income.

Go Live

You can never prepare enough for the change of EHR.

Set a date and go live without fail. You will deal with other changes, complaints, and additional issues along the way.

Conclusion

EHR is an investment that should improve your productivity. Make changes when you realize you don’t get your investment’s worth. Ensure your system is up-to-date with the industry standards. It should not hinder efficiency and operations.

Are you having trouble with your EHR and feel that you want another system? PCIS GOLD has got you covered. Our robust systems will help you optimize every part of the patient management and records cycle. Call us today or visit our offices for a better deal.

Tags: EHR, Office Improvement

Casey Waldron

Casey is a seasoned sales and marketing professional with 18 years combined experience in D2D and B2B sales environments. Casey joined PCIS Gold in March of 2017 and is responsible for business development in all 50 states.