Seven Steps for a Successful EHR Implementation


Making a move to a new electronic health record (EHR) system is a substantial undertaking. Once the order is signed, the real work of EHR implementation begins. Over the next weeks and months, there are key milestones that need to happen in cadence to ensure a smooth transition to the new EHR. In this blog, we look at those steps, and importantly, how to avoid a misstep.

7 Steps for a Successful EHR Implementation

The reasons behind EHR replacements span from a desire for efficiency improvements and improved security to the demands for better interoperability to meet the requirements for the 21st Century Cures Act. Some studies show a 60 percent increase in providers looking at new EHR systems. As such, many organizations are on their second, third or more upgrades to EHR systems to better address their current and future needs. Finding the right EHR can be a job. Our team suggests following these Eight Tips for Choosing Your Next EHR.

A few notable EHR replacements underway include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) replacement of its 20-year-old legacy EHR system known as the Clinical Research Information System (CRIS). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is restarting its EHR modernization project. Further replacements are happening across the entire healthcare ecosystem, from ambulatory clinics to large integrated delivery networks (IDNs).

Once the new EHR is selected, the “real” work begins… implementation.
Follow these seven steps for a successful EHR implementation:

  1. Create an Implementation Plan. This is an overall roadmap that will define roles, responsibilities, and timelines for the project. You will need to determine if the entire system will go live at once, or if there will be an incremental rollout. Some organizations choose a gradual rollout so they can include pilot testing in selected departments to gather feedback and adjust before more widespread use.
  2. Gather the right team. Start with a commitment from top-level leadership. This sets the tone for the entire organization and helps with highlighting how the new EHR aligns with organizational goals. Part two of gathering the team includes setting up an EHR Implementation Team that will support the overall project. It is helpful to involve people from different departments including IT (project manager, application analyst and engineer) as well as clinical (physician, nursing), health information management (HIM) and business (billing, finance, legal.)
  3. Confirm your infrastructure meets your needs. Whether you are choosing a client-based server or cloud-based, review your infrastructure and hardware to ensure compatibility with the new EHR.
  4. Technical set up. Getting ready to migrate to a new system should include a focus on mapping workflows to understand current needs and configuring the software to meet the organization’s requirements for user roles, templates, and preferences.
  5. Transfer and test data. Migrate the determined set of clinical, administrative, and business data to the new EHR. This includes data validation and testing of new data inputs, confirming there is integration with other systems (labs, pharmacies, and billing) as well as migrating legacy data to an active archive.
  6. Train staff. Plan a tiered training approach that will focus on basic functions, advanced training and specialized roles training for different departments and team members. Expect the training to take a few weeks to several months to have everyone in the organization fully up and running.
  7. Launch. There might be several soft launches versus one big launch; however, a key to the overall success of implementing a new EHR is a commitment to clear communication to keep all stakeholders aware about the project and the progress.

Are you in the midst of an EHR replacement? Now is the time to review your lifecycle data management strategy.

Our team supports healthcare delivery organizations of all sizes through full lifecycle data management services for electronic health record (EHR) or enterprise resource planning systems (ERP).

Our team is a great resource for healthcare providers who are implementing a new EHR and streamlining legacy systems in their application portfolios. We can help lower costs, reduce risk, fortify cybersecurity, and make legacy data accessible to users and patients. Our team works with IT, HIM, Rev Cycle, Clinical, HR and Regulatory stakeholders to help recommend the best options to meet regulatory compliance, research and reporting requirements defined by your compliance team.

Our suite of data management solutions supports healthcare delivery organizations of all sizes secure patient, employee, and business records during an EHR replacement of rationalization.

Implementing a new EHR offers exciting possibilities. However, there needs to be a plan for legacy systems and data to fully realize the potential of the investment in the new EHR.

A thorough plan for legacy data delivers a solid approach for long-term lifecycle data management. Reduce bloat. Decrease costs. Improve data management for the future.

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Feb 28 2024

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