There are many reasons why a practice would want to change their Electronic Medical Records software (EMR). There are plenty of great EMR’s on the market, however, choosing your new EMR is only part of the equation.
The struggles people experience with the transition to a new EMR are most often related to the migration process, and lack of planning. You will often hear, “The doctor wants this specific EMR,” which is a great place to start, but you will save time, money, and frustration if you get your Information Technology (IT) service provider’s input before the purchase.
There’s due diligence, which needs to be performed by your IT department. This will help you fully understand the impact and costs associated with the new and existing EMRs, and help them create a working plan for the switchover.
THE NEW EMR
Review the hardware prerequisites of the EMR you are looking to implement.
- Do you have the required equipment in place or will you need to create a budget to purchase additional or new equipment?
Consider your network infrastructure.
- Does it support changes, which might occur to clinical and administrative workflows?
- EMRs function differently, which may require adding or changing Wi-Fi access and physical set up of your workstations to become tablet-based and using cloud applications.
Evaluate all your technologies, which need to work in tandem on a daily basis.
- Consider how the new EMR will integrate with your testing, imaging, diagnostic equipment, and administrative applications.
Consider the support the new EMR offers your IT department
- On an ongoing basis, your IT team will be responsible for updates, upgrades, patching, and troubleshooting.
YOUR EXISTING EMR
Create a plan for data retention and access from your current EMR.
- Are you migrating existing records, or will you keep the legacy EMR running?
- Are you backing up your legacy EMR data?
- Who will need to access legacy data, and how often?
- Will you need to look at images or records side by side?
- Is your existing EMR using equipment, which is compatible with the new EMR? If not, where will you keep the equipment for your legacy?
- Take note: unless you migrate all of your legacy EMR data to you new EMR, you need to keep those records accessible for 7 years. Don't forget to define that cost.
Your IT service provider brings a practical viewpoint to the table. They will look at the new EMR with regards to your existing technologies, equipment, applications, and workflow. By including them as part of your EMR search process, they will be able to plan, schedule, and manage your migration making it as struggle free as possible.