Many medical practices are now seeking an EHR consultant to help with planning and implementing their Electronic Health Records systems. This is because of the growing complexity of EHRs and the rising demand for the advanced use of EHRs by healthcare providers who want to meet the demands of Meaningful Use.
Working with an EHR consultant can meet this demand by giving healthcare providers professional advice in the selection, design, deployment and use of an EHR. Hiring an EHR consultant is a strategic decision that can solve various challenges faced while using EHRs and also helps improve the quality of patient care. While consulting an EHR expert, the following benefits can make it a rewarding investment.
1. Strategic planning of EHR implementation
Planning a new EHR implementation is so important because of the huge amount of resources that must be invested, the need to train clinicians and motivate them to use the system well and the impact the use of the EHR can have on administrative costs and quality of care. During the planning and implementation phases, the consultant can provide a variety of services including:
- Setting up the EHR to ensure workflow optimization
- Training staff to use the new EHR efficiently
- Data conversion
Due to the loss of productivity commonly experienced by providers who are implementing an EHR for the first time, the expertise of an EHR consultant will be required to minimize productivity losses.
2. More efficient use of EHR data
An EHR consultant can help a provider use the huge volume of data collected through their EHR. They can use it to carry out population management and to discover patients and demographics that are prone to have certain chronic diseases. When a healthcare organization doesn’t have a dedicated team to carry out data analytics, an EHR consultant can fill the gap for the provider. They can also train staff to extract data, run analytical queries and create useful data visualization.
3. Early identification of security threats
Every healthcare organization needs to comply with basic data privacy laws and other government regulations. When there’s a perceived security threat, the consultant can perform a security risk assessment or security audit. This will reveal any loopholes and provide guidelines for protecting the provider’s information infrastructure from data breaches and the huge fines that they’ll have to pay if a data breach occurs on their network.
4. Effective management of EHR migration
EHR migration usually requires a detailed pre-assessment of the existing EHR to discover the data format used, the type of coding system adopted, and the volume of data stored in the legacy EHR. Then, the amount of work required to convert the existing data into the format and database structure used in the new EHR must be clearly defined and broken down into deliverable tasks.
The consultant must also estimate the amount of time it will take to complete the migration project and provide support to deal with any issues that occur after the new EHR is fully deployed.
Final Word on Working With an EHR Consultant
Hiring an EHR consultant can offer a healthcare provider a significant amount of value. It’s one of the best ways to ensure that the investment in the EHR system achieves all desired goals and improves the quality of care offered to patients.