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EHR Adoption Road Map and Tools

The adoption of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is an on-going, complex process. Intended to transform practice operations, it requires analyzing existing processes, carefully planning operational changes, and a diligent effort to bring about those changes.

Realizing value from an EHR requires customizing it to your own needs, adjusting practice workflow to make effective use of its features, and continuously looking for new ways to enhance its value to your practice through expanding connections, functions and options.

There are typically three basic stages of EHR adoption:

1. EHR Investigation: Am I Ready? In this stage practices need to assess their readiness for an EHR through examination of their clinical and work flow processes - as well as the skill set of both the clinicians and staff.

2. Selection and Purchase This is a critical stage. The review and selection of a product, followed by the negotiation of a contract, will directly impact the success of your EHR implementation. Time spent on evaluation and negotiation is well worth the effort.

3. Implementation: Getting Your EHR Up & Running While every practice will have different needs and preferences, there are some common issues for which guidance can be helpful. Practices need to understand existing work flows in order to determine how this new technology can help improve office and clinical processes. Try not to adapt the technology to old and perhaps inefficient work patterns - but rather use the opportunity to leverage the ability of the EHR and its components to create efficiencies. The benefits of an EHR are typically demonstrated over time and across the office functions. While some processes may be slower at first, if the implementation is done correctly, this should improve significantly as more experience is gained.