Switching EHRs: The Need for Change and the Challenges it Brings

Written by ClinicMind on .

Is Your Existing EHR doing its job?

Private practices and medical providers have largely adopted digital patient management solutions, known as EHRs, which are designed to make managing and delivering patient care easier and more effective than ever before. However, with the fast-changing nature of technology, many providers are left wondering if a change in their software can deliver better solutions to patients. 

EHRs and practice management systems are tools that should be able to streamline your patient information, insurance and payment processes, care coordination and recordkeeping, and so much more. If your current systems aren’t doing their job, you might need to upgrade. Many providers jumped into new software as the pandemic sent people home and created a demand for a new method of care. Thus, some may not have carefully weighed the options or considered all the elements that come with a solid EHR and practice management system for long-term use. 

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. We were all in a space where uncertainty reigned supreme and we had to do our best. However, now that we know that our best could be better, it may be time for another change. 

How Do I Know it’s Time to Switch?

There may come a time when your EHR will be doing less good and causing more hassles. Often, organizations get stalled because they don’t want to switch EHRs. Due to a slew of challenges that you can read more about here. When you know how something works and you have it down to a science, it can be hard to start over again. However, when your EHR has become time-consuming and disruptive to the workflow of your practice due to constant workarounds and limitations or you are not satisfied with the level of support you are getting from your vendor, it might be time to consider a new platform for managing your patient records and managing your practice. 

If the EHR that you are using doesn’t offer the dynamic solutions that your practice demands, it might be time for a change. Perhaps you’ve noticed other practices using more modern software that has the latest features like premium security and encryption, cloud-based storage, and so forth. Several factors could impact your decision to switch. As the person in charge, it’s up to you to make the final call.  

Some EHRs only facilitate documentation, and have not yet evolved to enhance their solutions to include things like information sharing, billing and payments, and other interactive features. If your EHR is limited in this way, it’s important to seek out a new platform that will help you handle all aspects of practice management and billing.  

The Challenges of Transition

Every transition brings with it a new set of challenges and potential obstacles. For starters, most people have already turned their EHR into a well-oiled machine and it operates without so much as a second thought. But there is a reason people buy new cars when their old one still works perfectly fine. Transitioning to a new EHR means that everyone will have to learn the new “machine” and figure out how to get it running as effectively as the last one. 

As a practice owner or manager, it’s going to be up to you to enter the transition with a positive mindset and set the mood for your staff. Look at transition as an exciting time and forget about all the new things that you’ll have to learn—if you choose the right EHR, training can be included. Some EHR companies charge separate fees to provide one on one training for you and your staff. 

The transition also presents challenges in the implementation of the new EHR system and getting the existing records transferred. To many providers, it can seem like a lot of work that is daunting, to say the least. One must keep in mind that an EHR transition is a time investment. It takes time up front to implement a new EHR, but the ROI on time can be well worth it. Several hours of time investment into implementation can yield a return of several hundred hours of time saved with a new and better system in clinical workflow and following up on claims. It is important to coach your team to adopt this mindset as well for a seamless transition. 

The Difficulty of Adopting New Systems

In the world of EHRs, change is one thing that is always a bit scary, but also a constant. Adopting new electronic platforms and software solutions for your practice can be hindered by several different factors. Some physicians and practice managers feel like their existing system is fine, so they don’t understand the need for change in the first place. Others may assume that instead of switching EHRs, they can just continue to tweak their existing system and deliver the resources that the practice needs even though they are spending valuable hours every week jerry-rigging the same work-arounds. 

This may be the case in some instances, but generally speaking, adopting a new system is a lot simpler than people may think. Adoption takes time. It takes commitment. And it takes a commitment to growth and using the right tools to get there. While many practices struggle with the adoption of an EHR, the right platforms will include all the training and support that you need.   

How Can ClinicMind Help?

ClinicMind offers an enhanced, total solution for recordkeeping, full-service billing and practice management so you won’t have to juggle so many vendors and manage so many relationships. With our dedicated solutions, you get full training and support for everyone that’s going to be working with the platform. Some companies charge extra for this personalized training, but not when you work with ClinicMind. You also have access to resources, subject matter experts, and people who can walk you through the integration and adoption of your new EHR so that all your worries are resolved. 

Conclusion

Switching to a new EHR comes with its own set of challenges. However, when working with the right healthcare information technology, your practice can be on its way to a more effective technology solution with an EHR and practice management system that hits the mark on every aspect that was previously under-delivering. Change isn’t easy but it is an inevitable part of life and business, and as such, you should prepare your team for different changes, their challenges, and their benefits as they come to your practice.  

As technology continues to grow and evolve, it’s only a matter of time before those changes include more EHRs and more customized solutions for practice management and patient care. The best way to address and overcome the obstacles of switching EHRs is to just do it(after fulling vetting your vendor of course). While it won’t be an entirely seamless process, the outcome of delivering better solutions for recordkeeping, patient management, and more is well worth it. And once it is implemented, it will become a seamless part of your practice. Several hours of time investment into implementation can yield a return of several hundred hours of time saved with a new and better system. 

 

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