There’s a lot of content highlighting the benefits of implementing an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system. But there’s not much information when it comes to the risks associated with implementing or upgrading to a robust EHR system.
The main risk that people don’t generally think about is the impact it can have on revenue. But it’s important to consider as it will happen when you roll-out an EHR system.
The key benefits of implementing EHR are as follows:
- Paper records are gravely limited
- Can significantly improve productivity and efficiency
- Enhance quality of care
- Improve patient safety
- Meet government and public expectations
- Take advantage of technological advances
- Need for aggregated and integrated data
- Enhance coordinated care
- Cost savings
As the benefits of incorporating an EHR system are paramount, how do you minimize revenue risk? The best way to approach risk minimization is to engage in pre-planning and post-go-live follow-up.
Stage 1: Pre-Plan EHR Roll-Out
Before going live, set-up a centralized command to work closely with all related departments.
By working closely together, the wide-ranging effects of incorporating an EHR system can be identified quickly.
Stage 2: Standardization
When you implement an EHR system, it will be dramatically different from past business processes.
As a result, there will be a need to standardize systems and workflows while phasing out legacy systems. However, this process will take time to perfect, so be ready for bugs and the need to be fixed.
Stage 3: Be Prepared and Rationalize Short-Term Decline in Revenue
Prepare everyone involved for a short-term decline in revenue as the EHR system is implemented. The main objective here is to minimize the impact of diminished revenue by being ready for it.
Stage 4: Look Out for Changes in State and Federal Policy
State and federal policy changes can occur, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for it regularly. These changes can not only impact your revenue but also how you conduct your business processes.
When these changes occur, you have to be ready to adapt as quickly as possible to ensure that business processes continue seamlessly.
Stage 5: Conduct Regular Meetings
After your EHR system is live, meet regularly to review and compare financial results. This can be done every day for the first 30 days to check if the figures were on target or correct.
This is also a great way to mitigate the loss of revenue during the first month.
Stage 6: Document Mistakes and Develop Guidelines
Let’s face it, mistakes are going to happen regardless of your efficiency and pre-planning. Use these mistakes as an opportunity to turn them into tactics.
Mistakes can be something as simple as an increase in the time it takes to register a patient. This can be related to processes like scanning documents or human error when typing in codes.
As a result, if situations like this aren’t identified during the testing stage, you have to engage in more staff training to resolve the issue.