6 common challenges in EHR implementation

6 common challenges in EHR implementation

Healthcare practices and providers have been implementing electronic health record software at an increasing rate, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Since the initial implementation date in 2009, 73 percent of eligible providers in the US have registered for EHR Incentive Programs, counting over 388,000 practices. However, although these cases of initial implementation have been successful, sometimes the initial usage isn't always easy. Having the time, resources, and cooperation from the entire practice can be a difficult task.

Here are a few potential challenges and barriers you may face in EHR use. Learning common barriers can help your practice manage around them and set realistic goals that can be accomplished.

1. The technical ability
According to the Morsani College of Medicine of USF Health, a computer's ability to retrieve and send data throughout healthcare is effected by its age and other factors, such as the area in which the practice is located. Connecting to the system and internet can be more difficult for a system that is located in a rural setting over an urban region. Make certain the location of your practice will make EHR implementation and usage a non-stressful task for you.

2. The cost of use
Advances in health information technology, such as EHRs, can be expensive in both implementation and usage. Finding the expenses to invest in training, support, and the physical infrastructure itself can be a common barrier, especially for smaller practices. Before making the decision to implement EHRs, it's important to lay out the funding beforehand.

3. The people
Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with the idea of implementing and using EHRs. There will be patients and providers along the way that may reject EHRs or easily give up on them if there are initial technical malfunctions. Before bringing EHRs into your practice, consider the barrier you may face with patients and coworkers – it's important to be ready to face each and every opinion.

4. The workflow break up
One of the main purposes of implementing EHRs is to create a steady workflow in the practice. Unfortunately, Getting Paid said sometimes EHR implementation can mess up the workflow in a practice entirely if it is not customized to fit its purpose properly. To avoid this problem, make certain your vendor gives you a proper demonstration of how the implementation will work in your practice.

5. The training
During EHR implementation, practices are suggested to train their employees throughout the new and improved workflow process. Unfortunately, this takes extra time, effort and resources some practices may not be able to afford. Before agreeing to implement EHRs, find out exactly how much training should go into the process and only go through with it if your practice is ready to complete it. Training is one of the most important parts for successful EHR implementation.

6. The concerns with privacy
According to USF Health, some healthcare providers and patients may be concerned about medical privacies when using EHRs. Common concerns include lost information due to a natural disaster and cyber hacks. Before implementing EHRs, ask questions in regard to how strict privacy will be in your new system.