Step-By-Step Guide Toward EHR Implementation
Step 1: Assessment
This is the primary and most foundational part of the implementation process. Here you will determine if the practice is ready to make the change from paper records to a new electronic health records (EHR) system, or if you will just be updating your current system to a new certified version.
Step 2: Planning
This is where tasks will be communicated to each team member involved in the change process. You will figure out what tasks need to be preformed and prioritize them in the overall EHR implementation plan. Three categories that are effective to separate tasks into are
- What new work processes are we going to START
- What old work processes are we going to STOP
- What old work processes are we going to CONTINUE
Step 3: Upgrade to or Select a Certified EHR
This is a critical decision in the planning stage, vendor selection. After establishing the practices for new workflow in stage 2, now it is time for the leadership team and staff to determine what to look for when considering and selecting and EHR system. Some things to consider include:
- Server options
- Privacy and security capabilities
- Vendor stability
- Cost to connect to HIE
Step 4: Training and Implementation
This is where your plan will be put to work. The new plan and schedule should be followed and executed by using such trainings as mock runs and pilot testing. At this phase you should also plan data migration in conjunction with your vendor, execute compliance with meaningful use objectives, and plan privacy and security risk management mitigation.
Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use
Incentives are awarded for achieving “meaningful use” by the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. The meaningful use objectives are grouped into 5 patient driven domains that include:
- Improve Quality, Safety and Efficiency
- Engage Patients and Families
- Improve Care Coordination
- Improve Public and Population Health
- Ensure Privacy and Security for Personal Health Information
Step 6: Improvement
The final phase is reassessment and reevaluation of everything you have learned since implementation. You need to continuously evaluate the practice’s goals and needs while leveraging the functionality of EHRs. Some things to evaluate include:
- Were the goals and needs met?
- Is additional training required?
- Is the technology reliable?
- Do staff responsibilities need adjustments?