EMR and EHR Problems and How to Solve Them
Several practices have adopted Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software over the past few years, and they have become highly essential in healthcare today. EMRs give physicians the data and tools to care for patients more efficiently when appropriately used.
Although it helps thousands of health clinics operate properly and progress, it also causes problems. For example, how an EHR is designed, customized, or configured is harmful to patients.
In this article, we will discuss EMR and EHR problems and how to solve them.
Problem #1: Data Entry
“Hard stops” are a problem regarding data entry in physician workflows.
During doctor-patient interaction, there are pauses to document a visit using a computer. To write a clinical note on a keyboard, you need to focus on a computer screen for some time, directly proportional to the notes’ length and details. It may also be difficult or impossible for clinicians to enter EHR data appropriately, resulting in a loss of quality in clinical documentation.
Apply these two solutions:
- Reduce Data Redundancy
The regular revision of forms and reviewing of the entire process, including forms, data, information, and documents, reduces data redundancy. Getting rid of redundant data will eliminate errors creeping into the system.
- Upgrade Your Systems
For data management processes to run smoothly, updating the infrastructure and technologies is essential. Technology upgrades and automation will help you stay on top of the competition. Data entry operators must know how to enable tools to enhance technology and tool functionality whenever necessary.
Problem #2: Standardized Patient Identifiers Across HIEs!
The lack of a National Patient Identifier (NPID) is a major barrier to true interoperability in EHRs. This alphanumeric code would uniquely identify patients within a health register or EHR. However, Congress repealed it because of privacy concerns.
When EHRs are the primary repositories and means of accessing patient and health data, their inability to match patient records across and within healthcare provider settings is a big issue. Thus, many problems will arise, including inflation of healthcare costs and suppression of health outcomes.
You can solve this through:
- Blockchain for NPID
Blockchain for interoperability is becoming more prevalent to provide a single source of truth for PHI. It is a decentralized technology that enables secure information storage and transfer and could be the foundation for creating the NPID because of:
- It uses public-key infrastructure (PKI) for centralized identification.
- A way for digital access rules and immutable logs
- A provenance for and a capability to provide audit trails. This also reduces the risk of data loss in the case of malicious actors.
Problem #3: Training New Staff for EMR and EHR Usage Can Be Difficult
Training your staff to use EHR software correctly can be done in various ways. However, organizing EMR training sessions is difficult due to the amount of work your employees have to do every day. In addition to that, the program may overwhelm them so much that they cease to care about it.
So, what are some possible solutions?
- First, you can hire someone to train everyone in the same way by focusing on standard processes in your practice.
- Secondly, you can divide your staff into groups to train them to use only the features that are relevant to their roles. The leaders in your organization could receive more training in tutorials, seminars, and one-on-one sessions to become “super users” capable of helping and even training others.
- Third, you can choose key employees who can dedicate time and energy to getting to know all about EMR.
Problem #4: EHRs and EMRs Don’t Fit With Clinical Workflow
Despite careful planning and implementation, medical institutions may find that EMR systems do not meet their needs. Think of a scenario in which you have invested a large amount of money in the technology but haven’t been able to utilize it to its fullest potential. However, you can avoid this problem if you plan more thoroughly ahead.
Try these two resolutions to ensure smooth EMR and EHR workflow:
- Start an EHR Optimization Project.
EHRs rarely work the first time. After using new technology for a while, a practice leader might detect inefficiencies. He could then take action to improve them.
For EHR optimization to be successful, a practice must pull together a technology and workflow experts team. They can devise new technological fixes to meet the workflow objectives and set goals for the project. Therefore, the critical aspect of leveraging technology to enhance clinical workflow is EHR optimization.
- Proper Demonstration of EMR/EHR Software Vendors
So, consider asking potential vendors to demonstrate EMR in-depth instead of making a hasty decision. You should also let your doctors and staff try out the software and provide feedback before you buy it.
While there are many obstacles regarding EMR and EHR software, you can overcome them with proper planning and strategic execution. So, physicians should be aware of these safety and usability problems when using EMRs and EHRs in their practices.
Choose the Top EMR/EHR Software
Over the years, we have assisted podiatrists with EHR/EMR selection, implementation, and software usage. We can customize EMR/EHR software to meet your office’s needs.
For more personalized information, schedule a demo or contact us through the contact form. Let’s work together to find the best software for your practice.
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