In this post, guest blogger Beth Shaw shares tips on how to successfully implement an EHR and attest all practice physicians to meaningful use. Beth is Administrator at Illinois Kidney Disease and Hypertension Center in Peoria, Illinois.
As an administrator for a mid-sized nephrology group in Peoria, Illinois, I had the luxury of successfully implementing an EHR System this past year. In addition, we just attested all thirteen physicians in our practice in meeting meaningful use.
Other practices have asked me how we were able to achieve a successful implementation. If you have not yet implemented an EHR, here are some helpful hints that I would have enjoyed having last year on our journey to attestation and successful implementation.
1. First, we insured that all physicians had input, but we formed a committee that made the decisions. This allowed the decision-making group to meet frequently. In our case, we met once a week to discuss processes and procedures.
2. Once we had physicians’ procedures established, we made a rule that a change could not be made to the process or procedure without committee discussion. This allowed one rule for administration, which was helpful in completing tasks and “taking live” all 13 physicians in 16 weeks.
3. We then set up stations of paper charts. We designated four work stations, which included the following:
Station 1: Checking for expired patients, PRN patients and patients lost to follow-up. (I know you think you probably don’t have patients lost to follow-up, but you may be surprised!)
Station 2: Tearing down charts for scanning.
Station 3: Holding charts for scanning. We learned very early in the process not to have more than 10 charts in a scanned queue. This allowed the uploading of the information into our EHR to go faster. (We bogged down the system when we loaded too much information into one queue).
Station 4: Reassembling and filing scanned charts.
4. All charts for one physician would be completed before we would begin implementing for the next physician. This included all scanning, uploading and the entering of medication, allergy and problem lists. As a result, we brought a new doctor “live” every week.
As we brought each doctor “live,” the EHR Committee would meet to refine the processes that we had in place. Each go-live experience was instrumental in making the next one smoother than the one before.
It has been over one year since the final physician went live. Now that we have attested to Meaningful Use, the final step is boxing up old charts for storage!