Benefits of Transitioning to Electronic Medical Records
With technology getting better daily, paper records are slowly getting outdated. Electronic medical records are, in turn, taking over and creating an impact in the entire medical sphere. Consulting services are helping to come up with digital solutions. With over 700,000 consulting firms, you are spoilt for choice.
Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
Nurses, clinical content consultants, and other health professionals have to interact with these electronic medical records. Some of the benefits of EMR are:
1. Saving up Space
Paper records need a lot of space. Besides, medical care providers have to retain patients’ files for up to six years. However, with electronic medical records, all that data can be accommodated by a single device.
2. High Accuracy
Paper records are prone to errors. Sometimes the mistakes are as a result of incomplete documentation or even illegible handwriting. However, with electronic medical records software, the user is guided to ensure they fill all mandatory fields.
3. Better Risk Management
With digital records, health providers can track a patient’s condition. That puts them in a better position to identify areas of risk and deal with them before it is too late. Many EHR software packages can alert the provider in case the patient is at risk.
Additionally, the records can easily be protected using measures such as passwords, hence upholding confidentiality.
4. Ease of Access
With documents in digital format, all data is a click away. For instance, the physician can access test results almost immediately. Different departments can also add or retrieve data efficiently. Therefore, various departments and branches of the same health facility don’t have to send several emails to share information. Digital records have also enabled telemedicine implementation.
5. Economic Benefit
Although providers have to incur the initial cost of an EMR project, it is cheaper than paper records in the long run. There is no longer a need for personnel to manage the files. You also save money that would otherwise be used on refiling.
How to Implement an EMR Transition Project Successfully
An EMR project will impact all staff members. Therefore, the process has to be well articulated and thought of. Here are a few essential tips for a smooth transition.
1. Have an Implementation Team
A strong team should include staff members from various departments. Nurses, physicians, and administrative staff should be included. Staff augmentation comes in handy to ensure you get quality services in areas outside your specialty, such as IT.
With your teams, review any regulations to avoid violating them. Consulting services professionals can help you come up with a compliant system.
2. Determine the Hardware Needs
Your choice of hardware will determine how long patients will spend in your facility. For instance, providing each member of staff with a laptop could make the process faster. If you can’t decide what you need, get consulting services from a reputable company.
3. Have the Patients’ Room Layout in Mind
Healthcare is sensitive. Therefore, the technology you employ should make the patient feel comfortable and heard. With the room’s layout in mind, you can determine where the physician can sit while keying in data to the system.
4. Transfer the Data
With both the software and hardware ready, all is set. If the data is too overwhelming for the existing staff to handle, you can hire temporary workers to upload data into the new system. To ensure nothing remains untouched, prepare a checklist and tick against it once the information has been uploaded.
5. Have a Backup
Although technology is our best friend, glitches happen. It would be best if you had options to ensure that all services continue despite challenges such as power outages. Have clear instructions that physicians can follow when the system is not working.
6. Extensive Training
An electronic medical records project will only be a success if the staff members can interact with it easily. Therefore, have a training plan before launching.
7. Launch the EMR System
With all preparations in place, it is safe to launch the project. You can either take the “big-bang” approach where you discard all paper records immediately or gradually do away with the paper records until they are no more.
Nothing to Fear
The thought of transitioning from the classic paper records to EMR can be scary. However, with CIS consulting services, there is nothing to fear. They will guide you every step of the way.