You Can Tackle EHR Conversion

Lea Chatham October 15th, 2013

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Small Practice Guide to EHR Implementation from Kareo

If you’ve been reading industry publications or attending tradeshows this year, you’ve probably heard that this is the year of the EHR switch. According to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics only 40% of physicians have an EHR that meets Meaningful Use criteria. An AmericanEHR study this year showed that 10% of physicians are very dissastisfied with their EHR. And while satisfaction in some areas has been increasing, dissatisfaction with ease of use is up. In fact, ease of use continues to be one of the biggest concerns physicians have about using an EHR in many studies. However, on the flip side, there is now plenty of documentation to show that there are potential patient care and revenue benefits when using an EHR to the fullest degree possible. According to recent numbers from MGMA, practices could see an average increase of nearly 10% in collections when using integrated practice management, billing, and EHR effectively. That is in addition to various incentives like Meaningful Use, PQRS, and others.

Often, it’s a successful implementation that makes the difference in a practice’s abitility to get the most from their EHR. For practices that are “switching” from one EHR to another, there is an extra challenge–converting data. Doing this successfully requires planning. A recent white paper, A Small Practice Guide to EHR Implementation, makes some recommendations about EHR-to-EHR conversion.

“Talk to your vendor about how best to convert from one software to another. Ideally, you’ll be able to export the old Continuity of Care Record (CCR) and import it directly into the new system. If your old EHR allows batch printing of charts, do that as well and print as a .pdf. Then import the .pdf into the document management section of the new patient chart. Be sure to confirm that the CCR import was successful and that all of your information transferred. In some cases, you may need to manually enter details such as medications, allergies, and problem lists. Also consider manually inserting individual lab notes and op reports into the new charts. In addition, if there are images, such as scanned pictures or diagnostic reports, in your old EHR be sure to export them for import into the new system.”

To find out more about planning a successful implementation, download the full white paper here.

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