Study is key for EHR – Electronic health records and referral planning

Choosing the correct EHR and Patient Referral Management Service

EHR service - best EMR - referral management systemThe latest reports show that smaller physician practices are speeding up their move to adopt EHR – Electronic health records.

In a report on the AmMed website, reporter Pam Dolan cited a recent study by SK&A marketing. That study found that in the last of six months of 2011, the EHR adoption rate for single-physician practices increased 6.1 percent (from 30.8 to 36.9 percent).

That trend is expected to continue as doctors in smaller practices move to comply with the mandates for EHRs and to take advantage of financial incentives for doing so. Meanwhile, adoption of EHRs overall is also growing steadily.

For practices still considering when and how to make the move to EHRs, there are many critical decisions to be made. All the evidence clearly shows that choosing an EHR system requires significant study, research and planning. Kenneth G. Adler, MD, MMM, wrote in a piece for the American Association of Family Practitioners offering some tips for doctors planning to adopt EHRs which has many ideas for consideration.

“Team. Tactics. Technology. I have organized the key dos and don’ts of implementation into these three categories. Team refers to people and organizational issues, tactics to specific techniques and choices made in design and setup, and technology to the software, hardware and network choices you will make,” Adler wrote.That structure is one that could help all practices better focus their EHR efforts.

The decision to put EHRs into your practice is one that has to be made keeping the primary goal in sight: How will this help me provide better care for my patients?

The answers to that question can be different for every practice which is why the emphasis should be placed on planning and organizing among your staff before you start talking to EHR providers. You need to have a strong understanding of your needs and your patients’ needs to get the best possible system.

You also want to reach out to colleagues. Have they adopted EHRs? How did they go about it? What did they learn from their experience? What advice or tips can they offer you to help in this process.
Consultants Ken Frantz and Mark Newman endorsed the idea of consulting with your colleagues in an article for Physician’s News with an important caveat.

“Other good sources of advice are colleagues who have successfully implemented EHR systems, though bear in mind that every practice is different and a rigorous analysis of what is right for your practice is still required.”

You and your staff know your practice best and working together you can determine the key issues that need to be addressed in the choice of an EHR system that will work for your office. Still, it would be smart to reach outside to get more information. Reaching out to friends and colleagues in the field to get their ideas and thoughts and learn from their experiences can provide valuable information you may have overlooked. You can learn and build stronger relationships with other physicians in the process.

Does your EHR planning have enough input from your colleagues? If it doesn’t, do you have a plan to get more?

Contact us today if you would like to discuss how to implement a patient referral management service in your organization today.

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