How to Switch Your EHR Software
FREE EHR data migration when you switch to PrognoCIS
Don’t Believe the Hype, Switching EHR Is Rather Simple.
Does this sound like a familiar scenario?
Every day at your healthcare practice, you feel the pain of your lagging electronic health record system or EHR. Each task seems to take twice as long as it needs to because your EHR is running poorly or because it is disorganized and you have a hard time finding the information you need.
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You’re frustrated and you know you could be more productive if you switch your EHR. At the same time, you worry that switching EHR systems will take your office out of commission for days or weeks, not to mention putting you at risk of losing valuable medical data. Held hostage by that fear, you keep trudging along with that dinosaur of an EHR.
Today is the day that changes. Here’s how to switch your EHR more seamlessly than you think.
There are a Few Questions you Should ask Yourself About your Current Electronic Health Record Software:
There are a few questions you should ask yourself about your current electronic health record software:
- Is it cloud-based?
- Does it integrate with labs, pharmacies?
- Is it customized for your specialty?
- Does it have integrated telehealth/virtual support services?
- Does it have record sharing features?
- Does it include speech recognition, e-texting, and e-faxing features?
- Does it provide Clinical Decision Support services?
If you answered “no” to even one of those questions, it’s time to consider a new EHR, where each feature is designed to streamline your office workflow so you can focus on patient care. Modern EHRs include options such as Revenue Cycle Management, MACRA preparation, Patient Engagement tools, etc.
How to Switch EHR Systems Smoothly
The simple truth is that your EHR transition doesn’t need to be as challenging as you think it will be. Use these tips for a smoother process from start to finish.
Choose Your New EHR Wisely
Choosing a new EHR is the most important step of the entire transition because it determines how your transition will play out. The fact is that some EHR providers handle implementation better than others. You will be relying on your provider throughout the process, so make sure they are worthy of your trust.
On top of a trustworthy provider, choose an EHR system that has the capability to grow with you. To be frank, you need the new program to be worth the switch. It should have plenty of capabilities you may not need now but will use in the future as your practice grows.
Get to Know the Data Transfer/Data Migration Process
One of the trickiest aspects of switching your EHR is transferring the data you already have. This is why you want to educate yourself on a seamless data migration process.
Talk to your soon-to-be EHR provider in advance about this issue. Find out what measures they take to prevent issues from occurring. Learn if there is anything you should do to facilitate the process, like backing up data or checking data consistency.
Keep in mind that you won’t always discover data transition problems from the start. Make sure your EHR is available for support after the transition in case any issues arise later.
Find an EHR Dedicated to Easy Transitions
As important as it is to be happy with your EHR after you switch, you want to be happy with it during the switch too. As we noted, a good EHR will play a powerful role in your implementation.
Choose an EHR provider who has an organized and streamlined transition plan in place. The only way to do this is through specialized attention from a knowledgeable professional.
For instance, we provide each of our customers with their own implementation specialist. This expert oversees everything about the transition process, from customizing the program to fit the customer’s needs to working through the implementation itself.
This ensures that you have a consistent point of contact from start to finish who understands what you need.
Consider the Long-Term Maintenance
At this point, your mind is preoccupied with the idea of switching your EHR. You may not be putting much thought into the future after that transition is over.
This is an essential part of choosing your new EHR, though. The whole purpose of switching is to make your life easier. If your new EHR needs constant maintenance that falls on your shoulders, you’ll be disappointed. From the beginning, ask EHR providers about their maintenance and technical support.
Will you have a knowledgeable person to contact when you need help? How much downtime does their system have? How quickly will they be able to resolve technical issues when they happen?
Get these answers in advance so you know what to expect. Better yet, get references from other practices who use that EHR and find out their experiences with its reliability.
Plan for Training in Advance
One unavoidable part of any EHR transition is training your staff in how to use the new system. How do you know where do start and how do you work it into your schedule?
This is another advantage of our implementation managers. We’ll be able to train a member of your team thoroughly on the system so that person can take the information to the rest of the practice. We can give you an idea of how that training will go and how long to allow so you can plan it into your schedule.
There are a few ways to put your training into action depending on your practice. Chances are that each team on your staff will be using different features within the EHR: nurses and doctors will enter treatment notes, the reception staff will book appointments, and so on. It may be best to have separate training sessions for each team to learn the functions they need to know.
Of course, you can also gather everyone together and perform a singular training session for the full system. It all depends on the way your practice is structured and what works best with your schedule.
Choose the Right Timing
Every practice wants to have plenty of patients to fill their schedules each day, but there are always busy times and slow times. Those slow times are ideal for your EHR transition.
For instance, if you have a pediatric practice, you don’t want to switch your EHR during the flu season.
You may need to review your past records to pinpoint the slowest timeframe to make the switch. Once you’ve made that decision, though, prioritize it in your schedule. If you need to book fewer appointments during that time to allow for training and getting to know the system, you can plan ahead.
Take It Step by Step
Finally, remember that you aren’t in this alone. Switching EHR systems is a team effort, and your implementation manager is on your side. They do this for a living, so sit back and let them guide you through the process.
Taking the Leap to Switch EHR Systems
We understand why so many medical practices are hesitant to switch EHR systems. After all, everyone has heard a horror story about other practices whose transitions haven’t gone well.
It’s important to put those stresses aside. As long as you choose an EHR provider who understands your needs and has a dedicated team helping you through the process, you can let them take the wheel. The switch will be smooth and complete before you know it.
Ready to Transform Your Practice?
Switch your EHR software to PrognoCIS and work with our team of industry-leading partners including Amazon Web Services, Surescripts, and TriZetto Provider Solutions.
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