A report from American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey says that 4 in 5 office-based physician practices have implemented a certified EHR. This means that 22% are still holding on to the trusted manila folder medical records. It’s easy to understand why smaller medical practices are hesitant on upgrading their desktop applications or consider implementing a new EHR platform for the first time. The probability of lengthy EHR implementation times and employees having to get comfortable with new processes are typical challenges. More importantly, EHR platforms can be very, very expensive.
The good news is that EHR platforms that have HIPAA compliance need not be costly or difficult to implement. It is critical to understand the difference between the EHR requirements for a medical practice compared to a larger healthcare organization and how your chosen EHR platform must address your needs.
Challenges physician-run health centers have
For smaller physician-run health centers, the EHR implementation strategy may present unique challenges compared to larger organizations. One challenge is that smaller practices often have limited resources in terms of staff and finances, making it difficult to allocate the necessary time and resources for EHR implementation. Additionally, smaller practices may have a more personalized approach to patient care, and it can be challenging to ensure that the EHR system is tailored to the specific needs of the practice and its patients.
To address these challenges, vendors must take a more hands-on approach to working with smaller health centers. They should provide more personalized support and consultation services to help the health center customize the EHR data and system to meet their specific needs. Vendors may also provide more flexible pricing options to help smaller practices manage the costs of EHR implementation.
In terms of the EHR implementation process, medical practices may have a shorter timeline compared to larger organizations, as they may have fewer patients and less complex clinical workflows. However, this can also mean that the practice has less room for error during the implementation process, and any issues that arise during the implementation process can have a larger impact on the practice’s operations.
Technology partners should provide more intensive training and support during the go-live period to help ensure a successful transition to the new EHR system. Finally, your EHR vendors should also provide ongoing support and maintenance to help smaller practices optimize their use of the EHR system over time and to help address any issues or concerns that arise.
Does practice size affect the cost of EHR software choice?
The cost of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the size of the medical practice, the level of customization needed, and the specific features and functionalities required. In general, health information technology for 3 to 5 physician medical practices tend to be less expensive than those designed for larger medical practices or hospitals. Generally, it could be as low as $1200 per physician depending on the requirement.
There are certain non-negotiables whatever the size of the healthcare organization. The health information technology infrastructure must have
- Robust security protocols since any health information technology deals with sensitive PII (Personally Identifiable information).
- It must have HIPAA compliance
- It needs to have a disaster recovery strategy to guarantee a high uptime
- The platform architecture may include components such as registries and platform interoperability to communicate with the healthcare network.
Data registries are databases of health information of patients that share common health factors. Data registries are now becoming an important feature of clinical EHR data because it allows clinicians to choose the most effective line of treatment. For instance, it can give a real-time view if a new therapy is effective. A data registry is usually maintained by a third-party such as government groups or research groups. Anonymized data is submitted by physicians. The benefits are that physicians get access to aggregated data rather than the limited number of patients they would be treating.
The implementation process can differ for a multispeciality practice
Multispecialty practices typically have a more diverse patient population and offer a broader range of clinical services than other medical practices. As a result, the EHR system needs to be customized to meet the specific needs of each specialty within the practice.
Here is an example to illustrate the EHR implementation strategy for a multispecialty medical practice:
Let’s say the multispecialty medical practice includes four different specialties: cardiology, dermatology, pediatrics, and internal medicine. Each specialty has unique clinical workflows and documentation requirements, which need to be taken into account during EHR implementation.
Needs assessment: The vendor works with the practice to identify the unique needs of each specialty. For example, the cardiology specialty requires templates and forms for cardiology-specific documentation, such as EKGs and stress tests. The dermatology specialty requires templates and forms for dermatology-specific documentation, such as skin exams and biopsies.
Coordination among specialties: The technology provider works with the practice to coordinate EHR implementation across all specialties. A project manager or team lead is identified to coordinate between specialties and with the vendor.
Customization: The vendor customizes the EHR system for each specialty. For example, the cardiology specialty may require customized order sets for cardiac procedures, while the dermatology specialty may require customized templates for documenting skin conditions.
Data migration: The EHR platform provider works with the practice to migrate data from any existing systems or paper records into the new EHR system. EHR Data is migrated separately for each specialty to ensure that the unique data requirements of each specialty are met.
Staff training: The vendor provides staff training for each specialty, focusing on the specific features and functionality needed. For example, the pediatrics specialty may require training on immunization schedules and growth charts, while the internal medicine specialty may require training on chronic disease management.
Go-live support: The vendor provides support during the initial go-live period for each specialty, ensuring that the EHR system is functioning properly and that staff is able to use it effectively. The vendor also provides additional support for specialties with more complex workflows or documentation requirements.
Ongoing support: The vendor provides ongoing support and maintenance for the EHR system, including software updates, bug fixes, and technical support. The vendor also provides additional support for specialties with unique needs or requirements, such as the cardiology specialty’s need for frequent updates to order sets.
RehabONE EHR from iTech
Just as there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to medical care, EHR Software that cannot customize to specific needs is never going to work. The RehabONE EHR is easy to use, cloud-based, has HIPAA compliance, and with proven interoperability. The latter is important because 70% of EMR systems in the United States “fail” when they try to communicate with other software because of incompatibility. RehabONE’s interoperability makes it a dependable and revolutionary Cloud EHR Software.
Schedule a demo of RehabOne to understand how we can customize EHR for your specific needs.