101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 46-50

Posted on September 13, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Time for the next entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

50. Determine how complete the financial reporting is
Don’t assume they have the reports that you want because they have other doctors using their EHR. Have your practice manager or business person figure out the types of financial reports your office will need to run and make sure that your EHR vendor does them out of the box. If they have develop new reports for you, it either won’t ever get done or is likely to cost you a bunch of money.

49. Take a close look at financing your EHR vs. paying straight cash for it
I’ll leave most of this conversation to your accountant. Plus, the decision is quite different in a hospital vs ambulatory setting. In the ambulatory setting we’re seeing a big shift to purchases that don’t require a huge up front fee and/or a bunch of financing. I think this is a healthy change for the EMR industry and one that more doctors should embrace. Also, get a good lawyer that’s knowledgeable of EMR contracts before you pay too.

48. Plan for a rollout gap
The idea of a rollout gap refers to the loss of productivity which is almost certain to come with the rollout of an EHR. The key is to plan for this loss of productivity. Ask other doctors that have implemented that EMR how long it took them to get back to full productivity However, you can also do things to minimize the loss of productivity by having a well thought out implementation plan and good training.

47. Plan for staffing surges
This suggestion is more apt for a hospital environment. In that case, you’re likely going to need a lot more staff during a go live. in the ambulatory setting, you might have a consultant or two around to help. You’ll also want your IT support somewhere close by, but otherwise you won’t have the same surge of staff as a hospital EMR implementation.

46 Know where your charges flow
Don’t underestimate the change in how charges will be captured and reconciled during an EHR implementation. EHR’s often significantly change your charging process. Much of the workflow planning that I do for an EHR implementation is around entering, collecting and billing the various charges. You’d think it would be easier than it is, but it always seems to be more work than we realize.

If you want to see my analysis of the other 101 EMR and EHR tips, I’ll be updating this page with my 101 EMR and EHR tips analysis. So, click on that link to see the other EMR tips.