Electronic Health Records

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EHR implementation checklist for small practices

By Patrick Ouellette

So now you’ve determined what you have vs. what you need to start using EHR at your smaller practice and have picked a vendor as well. Much of your work is already done here if you’ve completed the pre-implementation steps. The next step is to create an implementation checklist. What’s already been done and what do you need to do? Regional Extension Centers (RECs) can be a solid go-to for guidance and resources during the process.

1. Make sure that everyone on staff (who needs to be) has received EHR installation and maintenance training from the vendor. Staff members need to understand how to use EHR in the context of their specific job.

2. If you’re using a subscription model, know how much licensing, maintenance and basic support you’ll be getting from vendors and whether you can pay extra for setup, installation, data conversion, initial training and any additional components 

3. Check that the hardware is set and ready to go:

A. Server (if needed) is functional and running

B. Make sure routers switches are working properly

C. Set up network so when communicating with both in-office desktops and remote devices via virtual private networks (VPNs) that it adheres to HIPAA regulations

4. Start testing and use mock go-lives to determine what still needs to be fixed. Here’s what to test:

A. Network

B. Interfaces – lab, radiology or billing

C. Hardware

D. Software

5. Maximize productivity by setting go-live date for EHR site for a light work day

6. Start some physicians off slowly by having them use paper charts in the morning and EHRs in the afternoon, depending on how comfortable they are with the technology.

7. Prove that your EHR system has achieved Meaningful Use Stage 1

A. If you want to receive funds from CMS for implementing EHR, you’ll need to prove Meaningful Use. As noted on EHRIntelligence.com:

“Those who attest to having met all the requirements of the Medicare meaningful use program in 2012 can earn up to $44,000 by the end of 2016. Those who wait until 2013 to attest will be eligible for $39,000, which is still a respectable total. However, professionals who do not get an EHR system up and running until 2014 will only have a shot at $24,000. And then, of course, there is the potential of penalties for those who still have not implemented systems after this point.”

8. Make sure additional training will be available to staff in the future

Browse the latest EHR, MeaningfulUse and ICD-10 White Papers and Guides

Read similar EHR Checklists:

EHR implementation preparation checklist for small practices

EHR vendor selection checklist for small practices

EHR implementation timeline for small practices

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