Switching EHRs? Three Key Factors To Consider

Three Factors to Consider If You Are Switching EHRs

You REALLY Want to Switch EHRs. Now What?

Brad Benson
CEO at Health eFormatics

A study by Blackbook rankings found that the top 4 reasons that physicians are switching EHRs revolved around dissatisfaction with their current EHR functionality or with the EHR Vendor’s responsiveness to their needs.  The top 4 reasons were:

  • Solution does not meet practice’s needs
  • Practice did not adequately assess needs before selecting original EHR
  • EHR design not suited for the practice specialty or specialties
  • Vendor not responsive to requests and needs

Many physicians become irritated with their EHR to such an extent that switching EHRs appears to be the only solution available that could possibly alleviate their frustrations.  Obviously, the process of switching EHRs comes with implementation and training headaches, but to many it is worth it.  In addition, there is usually several years’ worth of clinical data in the old EHR system, and while I have already covered some of the options for that clinical data in a previous column, there are a few other considerations as well:

  • Legal Record – For legal purposes, you will be required to maintain patient records from your legacy EHR for at least 7 years, and as much as 21 years for Pediatric patients.  All clinical data from the legacy EHR will either need to be migrated to the new EHR or stored in an archive solution.
  • Continuity of Care – You need to ensure that your physicians will maintain easy access to legacy patient information after you switch EHRs.  Make sure the EHR Conversion option you choose continues to give your physicians this easy access.
  • Proper Planning – With the implementation of a new EHR, there is usually a good amount of excitement around the new features the physicians will have to be able to provide better care to their patients.  Unfortunately, because of the excitement, the strategy around data conversion is sometimes an afterthought, and it doesn’t receive the attention and priority that it deserves.There is much planning and coordination that needs to take place around the data conversion, so make sure to start planning early and pull in people with EHR data conversion experience to ensure it is done right!

Brad Benson is the CEO of Health eFormatics, a company that specializes in EMR/EHR data conversions.  Learn more at www.HealtheFormatics.com