Healthcare organizations have been spending billions of dollars annually on EHRs and their integration in the last decade, so the cost of EHR integration has become a long-standing concern. For most healthcare CIOs and CEOs, this has been their most significant capital spend. However, few of these providers have maximized their return on their EHR investment. If they are correctly implemented, integrated EHRs can provide a significant return through:
- Improved billing accuracy
- Enhanced clinician workflow
- Real-time performance tracking dashboards
- Dynamic staffing models derived from EHR data
- Improved patient and clinician satisfaction
EHRs can actually provide far more value than a mere “patient data archive.” They can actually deliver actionable insights that will transform healthcare delivery. To capture real value and optimize the cost of EHR integration, healthcare leaders should take the following steps:
1. Set up a Governance Model
There’s a need for full executive commitment and sponsorship to achieve a significant return on the investment in EHR integration. The C-suite must be prepared to invest a high amount in human capital, equipment, and tools.
Suppose the C-suite can remain committed from the early stages of the project to the end. In that case, it will accelerate the cooperation needed to acquire new technology, make upgrades, modify workflow, and manage change.
Healthcare providers need to ensure that they focus on the following:
- A team of leaders who understand technology, clinical, analytics, and hospital operations oversee the integration project
- Project developers use an open architecture to accommodate present and future applications
- Development of integration solutions to achieve expected clinical benefits
- Taking those three steps will enable the providers to optimize the cost of the integration project
2. Assess Readiness of Your Organization
When the people and systems in your organization are prepared to move toward delivering greater value, the implementation of EHR integration is more likely to succeed. That is why it is vital to carry out an information audit and readiness assessment.
The assessment will reveal the kind of programs and channels of communication needed to encourage the adoption of the new technology. Also, it gives insight into the skill gaps that must be filled through training for the project to succeed.
The critical areas to evaluate are the present interfaces or interface engine, network security, and wireless capabilities.
The truth is that a well-prepared organization can implement an EHR integration on schedule and within a specified budget.
3. Concentrate on Creating and Capturing Value
All stakeholders need to focus on value from the onset. They must make a mental shift from merely gathering statistical reports to capturing actionable insights from the EHR and other integrated information systems.
The integration solution must be set up to provide insights that allow stakeholders to focus on capturing value. All major stakeholders in the clinical, financial, and operational departments should also identify the functional gaps and information needs throughout the organization.
This understanding will simplify aligning data integration use cases that will produce significant operational efficiency, higher revenue, and better quality of care.
4. Work With an Integration Specialist
Building a solid in-house team with a detailed plan is essential for an integration project to succeed. However, due to the complex nature of EHR integration projects and the high cost of implementing them, it is necessary to partner with an integration expert.
Working with a specialist can help the organization’s stakeholders to clarify goals, create technical specifications, develop project plans, allocate resources appropriately, and deliver the expected ROI.
Discover More Ways to Optimize the Cost of EHR Integration
Contact Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 today to schedule a free consultation on EHR integration. Visit our contact page to discuss your integration needs or book a free demo of our integration solution.