Do it right the first time when implementing an EHR

By now you’ve heard that implementing an electronic health record (EHR) early is key to success. Not only will you be able to take advantage of all federal financial incentives, you’ll also be up and running before the rush to implement likely hits in 2010 or 2011—and of course, you’ll receive all of the benefits of an EHR sooner. But it’s important to remember that implementing the right EHR is just as important. Perhaps a California hospital’s experience best illustrates this concept. More than five years ago, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center decided to implement an EHR with a $50 million investment. This summer, with the system still not up and running due to technical difficulties, the hospital terminated its contractor and prepared to start part of the project from scratch—being forced to write off more than a third of the money it spent. The setback for UCSF Medical Center illustrates the challenges health care providers of all sizes face when trying to implement EHRs. However, it’s worth noting that UCSF Medical Center has not been deterred by its experience, and is forging ahead with its EHR implementation. This says a lot about UCSF Medical Center’s faith in EMRs, which is well placed. For every UCSF Medical Center, there is a health care system that has successfully implemented big-budget EHRs and is realizing the benefits (such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Smaller health care providers can face the same setbacks—and realize the same successes. The key to success is to select the right EHR from the right provider. The product should meet all defined standards, and the provider should be willing to work with you to ensure successful implementation. Related articles: Switch to electronic records getting mixed reviews at hospitals, clinics How the healthcare industry can increase the number of successful EHR/EMR initiatives

By now you’ve heard that implementing an electronic health record (EHR) early is key to success. Not only will you be able to take advantage of all federal financial incentives, you’ll also be up and running before the rush to implement likely hits in 2010 or 2011—and of course, you’ll receive all of the benefits of an EHR sooner. But it’s important to remember that implementing the right EHR is just as important.

Perhaps a California hospital’s experience best illustrates this concept. More than five years ago, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center decided to implement an EHR with a $50 million investment. This summer, with the system still not up and running due to technical difficulties, the hospital terminated its contractor and prepared to start part of the project from scratch—being forced to write off more than a third of the money it spent. The setback for UCSF Medical Center illustrates the challenges health care providers of all sizes face when trying to implement EHRs.

However, it’s worth noting that UCSF Medical Center has not been deterred by its experience, and is forging ahead with its EHR implementation. This says a lot about UCSF Medical Center’s faith in EMRs, which is well placed. For every UCSF Medical Center, there is a health care system that has successfully implemented big-budget EHRs and is realizing the benefits (such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center).

Smaller health care providers can face the same setbacks—and realize the same successes. The key to success is to select the right EHR from the right provider. The product should meet all defined standards, and the provider should be willing to work with you to ensure successful implementation.

Related articles:

Switch to electronic records getting mixed reviews at hospitals, clinics

How the healthcare industry can increase the number of successful EHR/EMR initiatives

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.