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EMR Evaluation : Was it Worth It?
You’ve gone to EMR, now what?
Are you loving your new EMR/EHR yet? What improvements in your daily schedule can you see so far? Is the office workflow improving? Make sure to keep tabs on expenses, so after a few months you can see if your office is bringing in more revenue (or breaking even) on this major investment. Be sure to include staff time from trainings, lost office hours, decreased number of visits initially, in your estimates. Where is your promised ROI? Take careful measurements and see if in 6-12 months you are beginning to appreciate the fruits of your hard work!
Again, after your rollout, take suggestions from your office staff to be sure that you are accomplishing your goals in a way that makes sense. Are you staying hours later than before just to scan charts? Are the receptionists getting confused with how to document patient information or take demographics? You want to ask each person how they feel the rollout is going, and ask if they are having any problems.
What About Patients?
Since patient care will definitely be impacted (hopefully positively) by this new system, you’ll want to try to develop some metrics for how patients are doing post-EMR. How are your office wait times before and after EMR? Is the waiting room as jam packed? Are the phones busier, or less busy? Can you refill prescriptions faster now? How is life in general for your patients?
Suggest, Improve, Measure.
After you’re well on your way thru an EMR rollout, take time to suggest ways to improve both your office workflow and your EMR. If you have specific ideas to help your EMR grow, make suggestions to your vendor. Many vendors are happy to get “free” consulting in the form of improvements from real users of their EMRs. In this way you get a more functional product and they get extra physician expertise.