Planning and Preparing for Electronic Health Records

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Implementing an Electronic Medical Records system is a daunting task for medical practices. This brief presentation can help a physician office understand all of the different facets of an EMR …

Implementing an Electronic Medical Records system is a daunting task for medical practices. This brief presentation can help a physician office understand all of the different facets of an EMR deployment and how the EMR will affect the entire network infrastructure of the practice.

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  • Be sure to mention accessories/modules – PACS, Lab, etc.
  • Be sure to mention accessories/modules – PACS, Lab, etc.

Transcript

  • 1. Planning and Preparing for EHR Jason Asbury Nic Cofield Jackson Thornton Technologies, LLC
  • 2. Two Major Factors to Consider
    • Deployment of an EHR often involves a change to new Practice Management application.
    • It is absolutely imperative that you choose the EHR and EHR Vendor that is best for your practice.
  • 3. A Change in Practice Management Software
    • This will involve a considerable amount of preparation and planning – there are certain essential questions that need to be asked before moving to an upgraded platform.
    • Changing the Practice Management system will directly affect all of your administrative staff. It is important to note this change, because an EHR implementation will directly affect all of your clinical staff. Proper staging and timing is essential to ensure success.
  • 4. EHR Application and Vendor Selection – Questions to Ask During Evaluation
    • Is the product specifically designed for your specialty area?
      • If not, has the application been successfully deployed in your specialty area?
    • Is the vendor a sustainable and reputable company?
      • How large is the vendor’s organization?
      • Has the vendor’s application been declared “Certified” by an ONC-ATCB?
      • Where is the company headquartered? If not local, is there local presence?
      • How many successful implementations have been completed since the product’s release?
        • How many are related to your specialty?
        • Are there any local or regional practices in your specialty area that are available for reference and/or onsite visits?
  • 5. EHR Application and Vendor Selection – Questions to Ask During Evaluation
    • What system or network upgrades will be required?
      • Will network servers and storage need to be purchased?
      • What are the bandwidth requirements of the application?
      • How do end users access the system?
        • Does the application require installation on all client computers?
        • Is it web-based?
        • Will the application reside locally or in a hosted data center?
        • Are there any ancillary software applications (Citrix, Microsoft Terminal Server, etc.) required?
      • Are your client computers capable of running the new software? Are upgrades necessary?
      • Is your current printing infrastructure suitable for the application?
      • What scanning and OCR solutions will need to be purchased and implemented?
        • What will be required for scanning of insurance cards?
        • Are there additional configuration costs associated with scanning, or is it included with implementation?
  • 6. EHR Application and Vendor Selection – Questions to Ask During Evaluation
      • What is the technical service capability of the potential EHR provider?
        • What are the terms for technical support?
          • Is it based on an annual agreement, or is it billed on a by-the-hour or per-incident basis?
          • Is product maintenance (updates, new releases, etc.) purchased on an annual basis?
        • What are the standard hours of operation for the technical support team? Do those hours compliment your own business hours?
  • 7. EHR Application and Vendor Selection – Questions to Ask During Evaluation
    • How does the EHR provider facilitate product implementation?
      • After purchasing and sign-off, what is the estimated time frame for go-live?
      • Is a dedicated Project Manager assigned to your practice?
        • How regularly does this person correspond with their client contact(s)?
        • Is this a technical person or is he/she strictly managing timelines?
        • Is the project manager familiar with meaningful use criteria?
      • Who is responsible for exporting historical data from your previous system?
        • If this services is provided by the EHR vendor, is it included in the implementation fees?
        • If it is not included, at what point does the EHR vendor begin their conversion process?
  • 8. EHR Application and Vendor Selection – Questions to Ask During Evaluation
    • How does the EHR provider facilitate product implementation (cont) ?
      • How will physical (paper) medical charts/records be imported into the new EHR system?
        • Is a separate records scanning solution necessary?
        • What additional costs may be associated with scanning patient records?
      • How is training facilitated?
        • Does one person or an entire team facilitate training?
        • Does training include measures to ensure meaningful use of the application as defined by CMS?
        • Is a test system required?
        • How many days/weeks of training will be necessary (for both PM and EHR)?
  • 9. EHR Application and Vendor Selection – Questions to Ask During Evaluation
    • How are ancillary systems and needs addressed (i.e. Imaging, E-Prescribe, Interfaces, etc.)?
      • What are the requirements for successfully configuring the E-Prescribe portion of the system?
      • How are interfaces to various hospitals, clinics, and other modalities configured?
        • Are there additional costs associated with these types of configurations or are they included with regular maintenance and support?
        • How is imaging interfaced and made accessible with the EHR system?
        • Can your current imaging system be utilized electronically, or is a physical image and scan process necessary?
  • 10. Summary/Conclusion
    • The onus is on you and your practice to demonstrate meaningful use of an Electronic Medical Records application.
    • Be aware and communicate the operational and procedural changes that will occur in your practice as a result of change in systems.
    • Set proper expectations amongst both the clinical and administrative staff in your practice.
    • Perform thorough due diligence, check references, and conduct local site visits if possible.
  • 11. Contact Information
    • Jackson Thornton Technologies, LLC
    • 200 Commerce St.
    • Montgomery, AL 36104
    • www.jttconnect.com
    • www.jacksonthornton.com
    • 1-334-261-6475
    • Nic Cofield Jason Asbury
    • [email_address] [email_address]