Insights from an EMR implementation specialist
After a year in IT support, my first real step into an IT career was with a healthcare solutions company in the UK back in 2012. I caught the “healthcare bug” pretty quickly after that. It’s hard to find another industry as rewarding, where you get to see what you’re doing have such a direct and positive effect on healthcare staff and their clients. After five years and a few different roles; from developing through to delivering, I moved to Australia and joined Global Health. At the end of 2021 it’ll be four years and seven community health organisations implemented and the benefits are just as incredible to see now as they were almost ten years ago.
How EMR Reporting Drives Productivity
Having effective reporting can be a powerful tool for improving productivity and process. As a healthcare organisation, most of your staff are performing or logging everything they do in your EMR. With all that data available you really have the heartbeat of your whole organisation at your fingertips. This gives you access to everything everyone is doing, how long it takes them, how much of it they do and how they’re doing it. You can identify trends, inefficiencies, deviations, and even training requirements, and you have the data to back it up and empower your organisation to make positive changes.
How An Effective EMR Saves Community Care Organisations Money
Reporting and the insights this generates is just one way an EMR enables cost saving, there are many others. To outline a few:
- Reducing manual paper-based processes. It may seem obvious and old news, however, the devil is always in the detail. An EMR that can build custom workflows quickly, even more so, one that allows your team to do it themselves makes this cliché a practical reality.
- Electronic claiming. Again, not new but how your EMR generates extracts and identifies exceptions has a material impact on your efficiency and re-work within the administrative team.
- Sending and receiving referrals electronically. It’s estimated 40% of referrals are still faxed today. It isn’t safer, and it isn’t more efficient. Faxing is a symptom of a poor EMR integration not a satisfactory solution.
- Automated SMS reminders. Non-attendance doesn’t just cost in care provider time wasted, it costs in facility optimisation and re-scheduling not to mention patient outcomes.
A fully functioning EMR should be viewed as a profit centre, optimising budget tracking and debt tracking both billed and unbilled.
Delivering A Great EMR Deployment
When it comes to successfully delivering an EMR, it’s all down to the people. In my experience in implementing healthcare software, I’ve seen organisations have entirely different experiences with exactly the same software. That goes to show how a big a difference the people around it can make. Implementing an EMR is a significant, long-term investment for an organisation, so it’s important that the resources delivering it match that investment.
Some of the key roles in a delivery team are project manager, business analyst, subject matter experts and health information manager. One of the major considerations when allocating these roles is that they will need to be able to talk from positions of experience and respect within the organisation, as they will be making decisions that will impact everyone.
Change management is another key component. Everyone has different levels of comfort and capabilities when it comes to change, so it is really important to manage this. The adoption of an EMR will play a big part in measuring the success of the implementation, so you really need to sell people on the benefits of the changes from day one and get that buy in and enthusiasm.
How Do We Work To Be Different?
With MasterCare EMR there are significant enhancements being made to the product each year. What excites me about these enhancements is the way they are developed in partnership with our clients, recognising they are the ones out there using it and how much value they can help us add. Every custom development for one Health organisation is provided to every EMR customer, while not every innovation will be suitable today, access should always be for all customers.
In my role specifically what’s always great is getting to see how an organisation and its software is running before and after implementing MasterCare. Going from busy rooms full of client paper records, with trollies being wheeled in and out each day; through to staff being able to work from home and new roles created that can add so much more value, its really rewarding to see.
This article was written by Thomas Dyke, Delivery Manager at Global Health Limited.