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101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 76-80

Posted on August 4, 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 second entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

80. Make certain the leader of your project’s support team is a physician
I’d say this is true in about 98% of the cases. In some very rare cases, you might be able to get away with a strong practice manager as the leader of the project. However, in most cases you’re going to need a physician driving the bus. This physician leader is going to be the person who helps you get buy-in for the EMR project. Without this buy-in, your EMR project is on very shaky ground.

79. Evaluate the Process FIRST!
One of my favorite comments about technology is that it exacerbates any current issues. It’s like taking a magnify glass on any process issues you may have and makes them into really big problems. So you definitely want to take care of any bad processes before you do your EMR implementation.

78. Make certain reporting is easy and flexible.
Reports are becoming more and more important. Meaningful use is basically one big report (and some process changes I guess). Medicaid and other insurance companies need reports and their demand for information is just going to increase over time. Plus, you EHR’s reports can be the key to you running a successful medical practice. They can point out areas that you can improve your practice. Make sure they have strong reporting capabilities that don’t require a special consultant or phone call to support to run every time.

77. Find out which Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems integrate to the EMR.
This tip is more for hospital systems. Most ambulatory EHR systems do a pretty good job of document management. Plus, if they don’t most ambulatory clinics couldn’t pay for an ECM anyway. Either way, you need to take into account how you’re going to manage all the paper documents you still get and likely scan into your systems.

76. Do site visits
The benefits of a site visit have been mentioned at least a half dozen times already in this series of 101 tips and we’re only a quarter of the way through. That should be reason enough to do site visits. Site visits provide the first hand knowledge of how an EHR is used in a real practice. Plus, it lets you ask questions from someone who’s been through the EHR process. This connection can really pay off later if you go with that EHR vendor, because they can be a reference for when you have practical questions about your EHR as well.

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.

New EHR Vendor Program for Health IT Work Force Development Program Students

Posted on 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.

EMR Thoughts has had a lot of students from the Health IT Work Force Development programs coming to the site after I did my post about the HIT Pro Competency Exam. One of the most common complaints I’ve heard from these students is how do they get experience working on an EHR system. Many are even willing to work for free to gain experience and they say they can’t find anyone who will teach them.

These discussions is why I found a new Certification Program for HITECH IT Workforce Program members from iChartsMD so interesting. Certainly there is a specific EHR vendor (in this case iChartsMD) behind this certification, but depending on how they structure the program it could provide these students some first hand experiences using that EHR. For those who don’t have any EHR experience this might be a great move for them.

I also can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a great way for iChartsMD to find smart people that they can hire into their company in implementation and support roles. I’m sure many of these HITECH workforce program participants would welcome a job working for an EHR vendor. Seems like a decent win win to me.

EMRs: First, choose wisely.

Posted on I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

My friend John Lynn, who runs the Healthcarescene.com, is always warning people to choose their EHR wisely in order to not get hurt later.  I could not agree more.  After having heard my story throughout various blog posts, my closer readers know that my first attempt was a complete failure.

The post found here about a meltdown in a Delaware office of three doctors echos a lot of what made us cry at the end of the day back in late Janurary of 2010.  However, with more doctors on board in their case, there has been (and possibly still is from the sounds of it) more pain, time, money and frustration involved.

For some reason I can’t explain, I found it frustrating that the state government consultant really only is now playing a role in watching as the doctors get to pick up the pieces of their shattered dreams and start over after shoving $40,000+ down the drain to gain “experience” in how to select their next EMR, if they continue at all with it.  It does, however, highlight a potentially excellent and much needed role for lists of government-sanctioned EMR systems (which I have been skeptical of in the past) and consultants who can help before doctors jump in unaware and get burned.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.