7 signs it's time for an EHR refresh

If you’re like many organizations, you’ve been live on your EHR for several years now. And, if you're like most, you probably implemented without all the bells and whistles. Your goal was to go live faster and quickly realize both the benefits and incentives. You probably thought you’d tackle additional functionality after the go-live smoke had cleared and users could give more meaningful feedback on the system.

But it’s 2019 now, and despite the regular upgrades, your EHR environment looks and feels very similar to the day you went live. Your users are neither more efficient nor happier. The benefits you expected seem well out of reach.

How do I know if it’s time to optimize?

Brian Beinborn head shotIf this sounds familiar, now may be the time to consider an EHR refresh. Here are seven signs that it’s time to optimize:

  1. Looking back, you see challenges and changes you never could have predicted when you went live and regret that you hadn’t implemented some of the functionality available. Now is the time to make that right.
  2. Government regulations are changing. Is your EHR configured to most effectively meet the needs of these regulations? If the answer is “no,” it’s time to think refresh.
  3. You have workflows that don’t make sense anymore. Staff turnover has created knowledge gaps. So many of the analysts and trainers involved in your implementation are no longer available to answer questions as to why the system is configured the way it is. Don’t be afraid to question when you hear “it’s the way we’ve always done it.” It may be time to optimize and do it a better way.
  4. Your issues and enhancements lists have increased in size and complexity since your initial implementation. Getting your arms around this list is proving impossible. A refresh can help.
  5. Upgrades are proving a bigger task than originally planned. In the past, it took several months of analysis, build, testing, training, and support for each planned upgrade. Now your upgrades are moving to more frequent cycles, adding importance to refreshing your system and getting it in a prime position to take advantage of new features more regularly.
  6. Your organization has been part of an acquisition or merger since going live. Working through the change and seeking to provide consistency across the care continuum may require a fresh look at how your EHR supports your united workflows.
  7. Your focus has been on affiliate strategy and rolling out your platform to community clinics. This may mean provider happiness has taken a back seat. A refresh alone won’t solve happiness, but it can be a part of the solution. If rolled out in a strategic manner, it can offer significant improvements.

At the root of much of this is the fact that maintaining your EHR has likely taken more effort than you envisioned during pre-implementation.

How am I going to justify a refresh project?

With all of that said, you may see how a refresh would be beneficial. The question then becomes “how am I going to justify a refresh project?” Nordic can assist in offering a targeted or comprehensive refresh solution to include any of these services:

  • Operational Strategy
  • Project Management
  • Process Improvement
  • Data & Analytics
  • EHR Workflows & Tools
  • Measurable Outcomes & ROI
  • Managed Services

We know these projects center around people, process, and technology. We can help guide you to create a prioritized roadmap of projects, each with an expected outcome. Our experienced Nordic consultants can serve your organization in cross-functional roles to ensure that you account for all integrated workstreams. Our clinical staff can partner with your informatics team to create a shared ownership model for long-term maintenance.

Since 2012, Nordic has assisted our partners in getting the most out of Epic. Whether it’s one focused area at a time, or an enterprise refresh, we can assist you to improve your outcomes, patient engagement, financial metrics, and user satisfaction. We would love to hear more about your journey and your plans for continuous improvement. EHR refresh pull quote

Let’s connect at HIMSS19

If you’re heading to Orlando for HIMSS19, we’d love to chat. Please stop by booth #2579 or join us at our reception on Monday, Feb. 11, from 6:30–9:30 p.m. at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. We can discuss your refresh priorities for the year over a custom cocktail and some fresh seafood. 

 

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Topics: featured, Optimization, HIMSS19

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