EHR stands for electronic health records. This relatively novel form of health record creation, storage and manipulation allows for faster transference of vital patient information to qualified health care professionals and less errors in the overall process.Electronic health records allow for a large variety of improvements to be facilitated in the medical community. Consumers can utilize far more complete records of their medical history than before to make better, more educated decisions regarding treatments and procedures that apply to their conditions. Also, medical research can be conducted much more simply than previous years as a large amount of health records can be made available to qualified research facilities with much less difficulty.

The Annual Health IT Survey conducted by the American Hospital Association revealed that 90% of the hospitals located in the U.S. alone were already utilizing an electronic health records system in 2013. If you have yet to incorporate an EHR system into the framework of your business, then it may be time to take the leap to streamline your patient processing and free up clerical time for other duties. Keep reading for tips on choosing a great EHR software package for your practice and transitioning to this modern system of record management.

Define Your Needs

Are you looking for an electronic health record program to use as a standalone solution or as a part of an all-encompassing healthcare management software package?

A standalone option could be a better fit for your company if you already have other software in use or do not want to have any extra programs to navigate or train others to understand. On the other hand, full-featured solutions and software packages offer useful features such as simple patient engagement programs, centralized clinical decision support and clinical analytics to aid in the making of vital hospital-wide policies.  

Are you looking for a platform that is intuitive to learn or robust in functions?

There are various options to choose from in this regard and you should be able to find an EHR program that can offer just the right amount of functionality you feel will be a good fit for your practice and your patients. It pays to give special attention to the way in which each electronic health record solution manages workflow as some approaches may not bode well with you or your staff.

Will mobility and cross-platform access be necessary?

If you feel your personnel would benefit most from a solution that allows for mobile access to electronic health records, then you should definitely choose an option that supports this functionality. In the case of hospitals with a large number of doctors who perform regular house calls, this can be a very important feature to have access to.

Will your practice be equipped to handle a cloud-based solution or are you more comfortable integrating an EHR platform locally?

If your hospital has regular access to high-speed internet and can adequately manage use of a remote database of all patient information, then you should be able to make use of a cloud-based EHR platform. However, there is always a risk of downtime of the server housing your hospital’s database of patient-specific information. To combat this, you could try a software package that offers hybrid functionality between the two – locally stored and cloud-based. 

Does your practice specialize in any form of treatment?

Depending on your specializations, there may be software packages better suited to your company. Try to find a good match for your hospital’s specialty fields.

Shift to a Software Solution Easily

If you have decided to transition to an electronic health record solution, then you will most likely be looking to make as smooth of a change as possible. A few important things should be taken into account when you set about switching over:

Populating your newly incorporated EHR system with the necessary data on your patients takes time and resources. You can choose between managing the shift in-house and contracting a company that specializes in these types of procedures depending on your practice’s capabilities. A document managing service can greatly help as you first begin with your EHR solution. Keep in mind the relative amount of time and resources you will need to set aside specifically for training your personnel as well. Doctors will need to be well-versed in whichever platform you choose in order to avoid any interference with their duties.

The integration of this new technology presents challenges to medical institutions everywhere. However, the potential improvement of the entire medical system may lie with the use of electronic health records. Ensuring your practice forms part of this positive change is an important step in the radical improvement of global health conditions and health care accessibility.