Up until a few years ago, electronic health records (EHRs) were optional for the majority of healthcare organizations. Today, organizations are eligible for incentive payments – and ultimately, are subject to financial penalties – according to increasingly challenging adoption criteria.
As a result of EHRs no longer just being “nice to have,” organizations are taking a critical look at the effectiveness of their current systems. Some are reaching the conclusion that the EHR they previously implemented, with success, no longer supports new strategic initiatives. Others are discussing more aggressive ways, such as full system replacement, to address any ongoing shortcomings of the technology.
Although we maintain that the true source of perceived problems is often unrelated to the technology, there are situations where a more extreme reaction is ultimately appropriate if attempts to optimize the system are not successful.
The impetus for system replacement is typically related to one of two drivers: (1) high-level organizational change, or (2) dissatisfaction with incumbent vendor products and services. In some cases, both of these factors may be involved.
In addition to the underlying reason for replacement, specific catalysts that may indicate a need to replace an EHR system include:
- Insufficient practice management and/or EHR system functionality.
- Lack of complementary capabilities (e.g., patient portal, physician portal, health information exchange [HIE], automated reminder programs).
- Insufficient reporting capabilities.
- Inadequate or untimely support from the vendor.
- A system that is not fully integrated.
- The high cost to maintain, or shortage of, skilled resources.
- Concerns regarding the stability and viability of the vendor.
To learn more about reasons for replacing your EHR system, read the Executive Briefing on our Web site. In our next post, we’ll outline the best practices for EHR replacement.