Published on April 13th, 2023
Electronic health records (EHR) help cut costs, improve efficiency, and allow health workers more time with their patients. Yet, there are some risks associated with EHR activation.
Implementing an electronic health record system is a big project for any business and needs thorough care.
Usually, an EHR implementation strategy begins with defining the intended end state and the steps that will get you there and identifying the probable roadblocks you will face.
Careful preparation and coordination are necessary. You must ensure personnel are comfortable with the new EHR without impacting patient care. If you need help with EHR activation, it is important to get Epic consulting services.
Common Risks Associated With EHR Activations
Here are the common dangers of EHR implementations and how to lessen them.
1. Workflow Disruptions
Workflow and process modifications are common during an EHR system upgrade. Temporary decreases in productivity, frustration, and interruptions might result from these disruptions.
For example, staff members who have not received enough training can struggle to use the EHR system. This could result in mistakes and decreased productivity.
Well-planned and executed communication, training, and process transitions can mitigate these effects. You can lower the risk when you train all employees well and keep training them over time.
2. Time Constraints
Organizations often lose patience while waiting for the new EHR system to go live. An organization can’t take advantage of an electronic health record system’s many features if it doesn’t have enough time and money. Yet, if you rush the launch, you can affect its functioning.
As a preventative measure, put in place the means to optimize each component gradually. The optimization should be done one at a time rather than rushing through the process.
Set aside time for training users, final testing, and problem-solving. Ensure the clinical staff, administration, and other important people are ready and on board.
3. Cybersecurity Risks
The potential for security flaws and hacks increases with every system upgrade. Cybersecurity threats arise when patients’ health records are kept in an unencrypted online database.
This makes them open to ransomware attacks, which could, directly and indirectly, hurt their treatment. HIPAA compliance and strong cyber defenses are essential mitigating factors.
During the changeover, access should be limited. Ensure you closely watch the activities and allow extra security training.
4. Data Conversion Errors
Moving patient data from paper-based records to an electronic platform needs careful management.
Mistakes, omissions, and wrong information could happen when transferring data from the old system to the new electronic health record system. Even slight errors in data input might lead to issues with patients’ information.
The solution is to do a lot of quality checks on the migrated patient data before making the final switch.
It is important to check and validate data carefully before, during, and after the migration so that any problems can be found and fixed. This includes record-to-record comparisons, exception reporting, and audits.
5. Integration Challenges
When integrating the new EHR system with other systems, like billing, revenue cycle management, and payment gateways, configuration changes could cause interface problems.
Interoperability issues may arise when third-party software cannot integrate with the EHR properly. This can affect clinical processes, physician judgment, and patient well-being.
Solution: Do extensive testing of integrations before putting them into production. It is crucial to first verify all connections in a test environment.
Planning, communication, training, testing, monitoring, and adaptability are essential for minimizing these dangers. It will help with activating the EHR system.
Planning ensures fewer operational hiccups, data integrity, security, productivity, and staff satisfaction.
Still, it’s important to have flexible problem-solving plans because some problems are almost impossible to avoid.
Image Source: Imagesource