The Challenges of Implementing New EMR Systems

Since 2004, nearly nine out of ten office-based physicians have switched to electronic healthcare records. Nearly four out of five facilities have implemented a Certified EHR, and adoption rates are still climbing.

Given the widespread adoption of EMR systems, it’s safe to assume that these implementations have been valuable and successful. But the initial launch and the steps taken to get there typically paint a contrasting story.

Moving to an EMR or switching EMRs both have their challenges. But the more you can predict, the better positioned you are to mitigate issues and barriers to entry. Take a look at some of the most common ones you might expect if you’re considering changing to a new system.

#1 – Data Migration

You’ll need to transfer patient data to your new system, a feat that’s often easier said than done. You’ll need to plan on the specific types of data to migrate, how that data needs to look, and how your users can access legacy patient data should they need it.

Data migration is arguably the toughest challenge when switching to a new EMR. Many organizations find it worthwhile to partner with a healthcare data consultant that can help ensure a seamless transition.

#2 -Vague Total Cost

The cost of the EMR systems isn’t the bottom line price. Stakeholders will want to know the true cost of the implementation to ensure budgets allow for the switch, but it’s not easy to calculate the final total.

In addition to the software itself, you must also account for the following:

  • Hardware requirements
  • Training and onboarding
  • Loss of productivity
  • Maintenance
  • Data transfer/migration
  • Customer support

Granted, some of these things may not be able to be calculated immediately. You should check with your vendor to ensure you understand all costs and potential expenses to see if you can truly afford to make the switch.

#3 – Staff Resistance

Though EMR systems offer more opportunities to improve your operations and patient care, some team members and providers may be flat out against it. You may run into times where users give up on the new system when they run into technical difficulties and revert back to older processes.

This isn’t productive for your organization, however, and can affect more than just the user who isn’t on board.

Before implementing new EMR systems, make sure you prepare your team appropriately and consider any barriers or challenges you may face.

#4 – Training and Onboarding

With any new software comes a learning curve before users are able to feel confident entering and finding data. Throughout implementation, you should be training your team on the new workflows, processes, and best practices. It takes time, effort, and resources to successfully onboard your team, so consider how you can best get them “up to speed” to minimize any loss of productivity.

Do the Benefits of New EMRs Outweigh the Challenges?

Don’t let the daunting undertaking of switching to a new EMR prevent you from enjoying the benefits it offers. New EMRs typically outweigh any of the bumps you hit during planning and implementation, especially when you’re working with a value-adding partner to streamline the process.

HEF Solutions works with healthcare organizations to ensure a smooth, seamless transition to new EMR systems. Our team works to reduce any effort required of your internal team so you can focus on delivering high-quality care to your patients without disruption.

Schedule a free consultation with HEF Solutions today to learn how we can help you navigate the challenges of implementing your new EMR system and start enjoying the benefits the moment it launches.

 

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