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Advisory Services/ August 2018
August 28, 2018

Here we go again … Reset, Refuel, Optimize

At some point, we all thought the Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementation lifecycle would stabilize and transition into the ever elusive “maintenance mode”. Costs would go down, patient quality and care would improve, physicians would be more efficient and effective in the care of their patients, physicians would actually “like” the system, and the world would go back to normal. Right? Well, that is partially right.  And now it would seem that it’s time for an EHR reset.

The introduction of the integrated EHR did accomplish many of these goals. We can quote statistics of a positive move towards gaining all of these benefits. However, we can also bring to light many frustrations with physicians, clinical teams, operations teams and even patients.

Why is this? For one, we forgot that the expectations, the functionality, and the potential are always moving farther to the right. These expectations are supported by advancing capabilities within EHRs but are also driven by the need for data science capabilities that provide innovative, real-time solutions to deliver patient care when, where and how it is needed.

  • Vendor sponsored EHR capabilities advance on a regular basis by introducing new functionality and capabilities, by expanding their capabilities for integration, analytics, and other critical functions and by offering alternative solutions to support the changing needs of the market (e.g., Community based solutions, organization acquisitions and organic growth, lower cost solutions with rapid implementation timelines, etc.)
  • The healthcare market is ever changing as is the expectations of those who work in the healthcare field. Introducing an integrated EHR is the first taste that required healthcare providers and operators to open their minds about “how it could be”. Now that we have asked them to think this way, the door is open. EHR vendor capabilities and their integration with other third-party systems that support integration, analytics and even data science are now the “norm” to operate in a more global healthcare market. Users of these systems are now asking, “what if the system could do this?”

Organizations of all types and sizes are reevaluating the current structure and use of their Electronic Health Record (EHR) and deciding to not just optimize, but also completely re-implement the system. With an eye towards market growth, transformation and innovation, healthcare leaders are initiating a major program effort to re-implement their EHR focusing on leading-practice standardization, leveraged capabilities, cost-efficient support structure, decision-focused analytics and most importantly, the patient experience.

There are many reasons healthcare organizations are considering a complete reimplementation of their current system.

  1. Function-specific EHR implementation where multiple activities may still be supported by many, disparate and/or non-integrated systems
  2. Rapid installation timeline with minimal use of the potential system capabilities
  3. Continuation of technology “isolation” where decisions are not driven by clinical and operational stakeholders and technology teams are still focused on the singular activities of taking care of their world
  4. An installation that is on an outdated version with a highly customized build and non-standardized workflow components
  5. Need for a foundation to support an organization’s market expansion through acquisitions, connect alternatives or other market growth

Whatever the reason, organizations and their leaders now understand that the initial implementation was not the end. Rather, it was only the first step in creating a technological foundation that supports the organization’s vision and strategy for continued excellence in care, growth, innovation, and viability in the market.

The encouraging side to all of this is:

  1. You have already gone through an implementation so completing an “EHR reset” requires a similar structure, effort, and rigor, and
  2. You get a “do-over”, or said differently, an EHR reset provides a new chance to transform your organization and establish a foundation for moving forward in the organization’s vision and strategy.

If your organization is considering an EHR reset, Optimum’s team of experts can help. Optimum Healthcare IT has a dedicated Advisory Services solution line that brings years of healthcare clinical, operational, and IT knowledge.

Our team brings years of healthcare clinical, operational, and IT knowledge. Using our experience and expertise, we design project plans that turn your goals from vision to reality. Working with your staff, we refine the approach, the methodology, and define the resources needed to execute on time and on budget. We work with you to make sure you are leveraging your technology to increase the safety and quality of care you provide to your patients throughout the continuum of care.

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