The use of Electronic Health Record systems nationwide is widespread and growing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 86.9% of all office-based physician practices used some sort of EHR system in 2015.
EHRs are commonplace in practices today and demand for them will continue to increase. Between population growth and the rapidly approaching “Silver Tsunami” of retiring Baby Boomers, there are more patients than ever today. Practices will need new EHRs to keep up in a constantly evolving healthcare and technology landscape. Technological innovations, HIPAA compliance, interoperability, and value-based payment and reimbursement models are all factors that must be addressed in a truly effective EHR system.
Many practices need to upgrade their EHR system. Far from universal, only 77.9% of office-based physicians used a certified EHR system. One of the challenges preventing practices from upgrading is the size and scope of data conversion and migration.
EHR technology only works when you have quality patient data, both current and archived. Inaccessibility to patient data or inability to receive or interpret it is going to reduce the effectiveness of medical services and clinical staff in any practice. Physician burnout is on the rise and ineffective technology is often cited as a common source of stress and frustration among clinical staff.
Practices recognize that converting and migrating data to a new system is difficult to accomplish in-house. That’s why they’re turning towards developers and integration specialists to perform these essential activities.
A strong EHR integration partner should be able to move all of practice data to the new system from the legacy system without producing duplicate records. Often, they’re working with an electronic master patient index (eMPI) tool that deploys a sophisticated merge patient cleanup process. Duplicate patient records must be eliminated before the EHR conversion. If not, the new EHR is going to have inaccurate patient records and conflicting data. That can lead to serious problems including administering unnecessary or inappropriate patient care.
Archived clinical and financial data is a large hurdle to overcome during a data conversion. It’s difficult to convert all relevant archived clinical and financial data without the appropriate expertise or tools. Failing to keep archived patient data causes problems in patient care, collections, and legal compliance. When practices face this challenge, they often leave the legacy system running alongside the new one so they don’t lose access to their archived data. This is often out of necessity to avoid lapses in compliance.
Practices should work with technology partners who can manage and store archived and legacy patient data.
One final service an EHR integration partner should offer is a convenient repository of archived documents with a release of records utility. This makes storing, searching, and accessing archived clinical documents from any source is seamless and cost-effective.
At EHR Integration Services, we’ve been performing high-quality, comprehensive data conversions since 2006. Countless office-based physician practices have partnered with us for their most pressing EHR-related needs. We collaborate with a dynamic team of technology partners to guarantee that our customers receive the highest quality data conversion for their EHR system.
Contact us today if you need an innovative and effective integration partner.