System Implementation – Implementing Electronic Health Records System

Needs Assessment For Effective Implementation Of Electronic Health Records In The Outpatient Department

To effectively integrate electronic health records management systems into their operations, the outpatient department must have the operational resources as well as the technical know-how. From an operational perspective, the department must redesign its workflow, care management and EHR procedures, protocols and policies. Furthermore, according to Mason et al (2017), the outpatient department must design how it manages and interacts with the vendors, establish a training plan for the EHR requirements. This generally means that the department must be willing to eliminate any barriers to adopting the EHR while engaging in any activity that improves its adoption.

System Implementation - Implementing Electronic Health Records System

The department must also be technically ready for EHR. It entails developing and deploying the technical environment and IT management capabilities as and when the EHR system requires (Krousel-Wood et al, 2018). The department must ensure that they have the necessary computers, hardware and software upon which the EHR system will be laid. More importantly, the department must ensure that it has a few IT specialists deployed to the department to fix any technical issues. Here, a key indicator of readiness here will be the availability of software, hardware and staffing.

Needs Assessment For Effective Implementation Of Electronic Health Records In The Nursing Department

The nursing department largely depends on EHR system due to the significant amount of patient data involved in the department. As such, the department must have the necessary infrastructural and architectural resources that would ensure efficient use of the EHR system. For instance, the nursing department must establish the necessary information portals and the necessary software for the EHR infrastructure accessibility (Grasso et al, 2019). Similarly, the nursing department must orient its services to a level that most of those services are supported by IT. Furthermore, according to Bosse et al (2018), the department must achieve an optimum level of service automation and ensure that a share of its data can be input through database queries.

EHR Training Needs

EHR training is an ongoing process that continues even after the implementation stage. The training cannot be stopped as soon as the system goes live because system updates may introduce new features requiring uses to train on those updates (Krousel-Wood et al, 2018). The training should be designed such that the users have an opportunity to improve their EHR competence over and above the basic skills, enabling them to continually make the most use out of the EHR.

Therefore, when developing the training timeline, there need to be long-term and short-term goals. The short-term goals would be to enable all the users to log in to the system by the first week while a typical long-term goal would be to enable all the users to onboard new patients by the end of the fourth week. All in all, it is important to assess user training needs in terms of their current comfort and skill level with computers, especially those who are transitioning from paper operations (Grasso et al, 2019).

The project manager should evaluate whether the staff from each department are computer literate or if they may need more training. in case there are enough resources, clinicians with less practical technology understanding should be placed under additional computer training.  with adequate time, even the most technology-averse staff can develop a good understanding of EHR system if they are given enough time to develop their skills (Bosse et al, 2018).

With the knowledge of each staff’s skill level, the training should only focus on what the staff needs to know because otherwise, it would be a waste of time and resources training staff on all the aspects of EHR.  For example, if a nurse therapist only needs to know how to document the findings of the initial evaluation while the nurse therapist assistant only needs to know how to write a daily note, the project manager should save time by including the nurse therapist in the evaluation documentation training. In many cases, project managers make the mistake of training staff in areas they do not need to use. By training on the ‘need to know’ basis, the project manager shall have eliminated much confusion and instead, pay greater attention to the training sessions.

Vendor Support And Vendor Maintenance

There are various vendor support and maintenance services that the facility will need if they continue using the EHR system. The most important support services they will require is providing contact support for any questions that the users might have; or for any technical support in case of any problem with features or functionalities (Krousel-Wood et al, 2018). This contact support may be in the form of online support, phone or through a website chat function.

Apart from calling the vendor for support, the vendor may also avail self-help information (e.g. user guide) to enable users to read the information and troubleshoot or solve the problems themselves. This process enhances user skills. Nonetheless, vendor support may also involve training or participating in ongoing training to help users learn how to use the system before, during or after the system goes live. The training can be on-site or through various online programs that can be organized to suit the user’s schedule.

System Implementation – Implementing Electronic Health Records System  References

  • Bosse, J. D., Leblanc, R. G., Jackman, K., & Bjarnadottir, R. I. (2018). Benefits of implementing and improving collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in electronic health records. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 36(6), 267-274. doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000417
  • Grasso, C., McDowell, M. J., Goldhammer, H., & Keuroghlian, A. S. (2019). Planning and implementing sexual orientation and gender identity data collection in electronic health records. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 26(1), 66-70.
  • Krousel-Wood, M., McCoy, A. B., Ahia, C., Holt, E. W., Trapani, D. N., Luo, Q.,… & Milani, R. V. (2018). Implementing electronic health records (EHRs): health care provider perceptions before and after transition from a local basic EHR to a commercial comprehensive EHR. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(6), 618-626.
  • Mason, P., Mayer, R., Chien, W. W., & Monestime, J. P. (2017). Overcoming barriers to implementing electronic health records in rural primary care clinics. The Qualitative Report, 22(11), 2943-2955. Dio:998548ca9d546020e98886469