• May 21

    Versio Staff

    Why your IT department should NOT have sole responsibility for your EHR implementation

    by  Versio Staff

    We love the IT team. Really! Our clients could not survive without them and neither could we.

    By definition, the IT department is a collection of experts regarding electronic communications of all kinds. In addition to understanding what forms of electronic data, visual, and audio communication are available, the IT department is able to evaluate available services and determine which services and vendors can provide the best equipment and service support. Along with all of these responsibilities, the IT department also oversees the day to day functions of all electronic devices within the hospital. This is a HUGE job.

    We hope nobody takes this the wrong way – but with all of their knowledge and experience, your IT team is not qualified to completely manage your EHR implementation – particularly when it comes to migrating the legacy patient data.

    Healthcare organizations outsource the setup and training for whatever EHR application they plan to use. It makes sense to turn to the experts. But once the EHR has been configured and the staff has been trained, the rest of the implementation is often handed off to IT. Unfortunately, when it comes to populating the new EHR with the clinical data that is so critical for quality of care, it is often not addressed or even thought about until later in the project when someone (usually a doctor) asks, “So how is my data going to get into the new system?”

    At this point, many decisions need to be made. These decisions include: what data is important? How do we create a unified record for each patient? How do we determine which patient records should be migrated and which should be simply warehoused? Will we use a preprogrammed tool or hand-key the information into the charts? Will we perform this function before go-live or as the patients are being seen? How will we know we have captured the complete record accurately? And our favorite, “how much time can this possibly take?”

    You wouldn’t consider taking the configuration and training for EHR implementation in-house, so why would you leave this critical segment in the hands of a team that has never done this before? We say again, the IT team has never done this before. As brilliant as they are, how will your tech team determine what data to move, and how best to move it? How will they know if they’ve captured the complete record? What will they do with data that falls out during a standard conversion process?

    According to an IBM study, only 40% of IT projects meet schedule, budget and quality goals. Most data migration projects are considered successful if 80% of the data is captured. What if only 8 out of 10 allergies show up in a patient record? How will your clinicians know what’s missing? Many patients with multiple medications have trouble remembering the names and dosage of their complete med list (i.e. “It’s a yellow pill”). Worse, what if a patient presents in the ER and cannot respond to inquiries about allergies or current medications?

    Data entry errors not caught by the system, data entered into wrong fields, misreading or misinterpreting displayed information, and providers incorrectly accepting default values when entering orders are among the problems we see on a daily basis. How will exceptions be handled? Will your IT team know how to interpret conflicting doctor’s notes?

    You hire experts for the majority of the functions related to getting your EHR online. Make sure you are engaging experts for your data migration. Versio has moved more than a million patient records with complete data capture and near-perfect quality.

    Please consider a short conversation and a demonstration of our unique process. This will be time well spent and ultimately a huge benefit to your staff, your physicians, and the patients you serve. Contact us: sales@myversio.com or 253-277-0505

    For additional information regarding our service lines, visit www.myVersio.com

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