EHR Implementation Tips
Successful EHR Implementation Tip: Be Deliberate about ”Nothing”

Over the years, we have recognized a unique advantage that only an EHR/PM company can have. That is we have watched 100’s of practices move from paper to the digital world of electronic medical records and practice management software. One thing is clear – some practices thrive extremely quickly and find themselves running at or above their previous productivity level – others not so much. While there are many factors that impact a practices’ productivity after EHR adoption, there is one factor that applies every time. That factor is this: policies matter.

Businesses in any industry who use a digital centralized system benefit by creating simple, standardized polices to direct software use.

One example where we see this in play is in a patient chart – specifically – the “blank box”. What this means is that there are times when certain fields are not used. However this can create a problem when another staff member comes upon a blank box and is unable to determine if this field was reviewed by a previous staff member and intentionally skipped – or if the field was not reviewed at all.

Take a look at the following screenshot. In order to demonstrate that a provider has reviewed patient history with the patient, there should be an indication that this task was performed. While there may be no new surgeries to add to the patient’s history, a blank box does not communicate this important piece of information.

Therefore, we recommend that all practices establish policies that standardize the appropriate procedure in this situation. As seen in the screenshot, this practice has adopted a ‘best practice’ policy regarding blank boxes which is: always include a note and the most recent date a field was updated. If a box is blank, other employees can assume that it hasn’t been completed or reviewed.

Perhaps there are other less important fields in the note where a blank box is acceptable. Regardless of what your practice decides, make sure that little issues like this are addressed. You might be surprised how a little policy like this might deliver big returns in streamlining your practices’ workflow.

November 23rd, 2015