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Emery. “In their minds, and rightfully so, minutes added to each patient can account for hours lost over the course of a week; and this, in turn, impacts fi nancials. However, an experienced implementation team can help a practice temper expectations and offer guidance on a reasonable roll-out plan.”

H.T. Snowday

Otter-Nickerson states that some providers agree a temporary dip in productivity during EMR/EHR adoption is to be expected; but no provider is willing to sacrifi ce pro- ductivity in the long term. “One of the biggest fears about moving from a paper medical re- cord system to an electronic one is that the switch is going to slow you down,” Howard says. “Between

training and new work fl ows, a dip in productivity can be signifi cant and can last a long time with some vendors. This is a concern especially in small practices, where there isn’t any extra staff, time or money to waste.” Additionally, relates Nayak, it can be diffi cult to achieve balance between EMR/EHR implementation costs and benefi ts.

“So much of IT is soft ROI, so it can be exceptionally

diffi cult to point to direct return on investment,” says Snowday. “An MRI or ultrasound unit has a very clear return on investment.”

The adoption process

The biggest challenges before and after the purchase and implementation of an EMR/EHR system have to do with process redesign and EMR/EHR readiness, according to Otter-Nickerson. “Prior to the purchase, practices need to take the time to establish a culture around EMR/EHR readiness,” she

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Beacon Partners



14 June 2010


Practice Fusion


Versus Technology


The future of electronic health

Moving forward, Otter-Nickerson sees the move toward widespread adoption of cloud-based computing as one of the major trends. “Mobile computing technology is obviously growing by leaps and bounds, as well,” she says. “We are also hopeful that the growing ubiquity of social media and widespread adop- tion of EMRs/EHRs will result in meaningful patient engagement and greater transparency for pa- tients as consumers of healthcare services.”

Says Snowday, in the short term, healthcare IT purchasing will continue to be focused on EMR/EHRs – ARRA-specifi ed sys- tems that help healthcare receive more funding. “With IT resources, you’ll work with the people you have with greater effi ciency,” he says. “That’s where we’ll see the biggest impact on healthcare; do- ing more with what we have or with less.”


says. “The practice needs to designate champions within the practice; identify work fl ows that will need to change; and set clear goals and objectives. After go-live, it is a mat- ter of managing change and expectations among all the stakeholders. Everybody needs to embrace change and stay focused on the outlined goals and objectives.” The question of adoptability is one that must be ad- dressed from the beginning of the purchasing process. If the system is not adoptable, “it doesn’t make sense to consider it, regardless of how many features and functions it has,” Jung says. “In other words, a luxury car is only valuable if you can drive it.”

Above all, the EMR/EHR must meet the needs of the practice and be easy to adopt and to use, states Nayak. “Look for low total cost of ownership – three years; mini- mize practice work-fl ow disruption during the implemen- tation and training phase. The solutions should provide ready access to patient clinical information to eliminate paper fi le conversion.” And because it can be diffi cult to rate the performance of IT systems, checklists and benchmarks should be established so it can be determined if the EMR/EHR is performing up to standards.

“Customers always wonder how they can get out if performance is sub-par, so it’s important to establish criteria for success from the outset,” Snowday says. “For some purchases, it’s easy to evaluate success. With other systems, customers and vendors should discuss expecta- tions and determine how outcomes will be measured.” Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92
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