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Switch From Paper To Electronic Records With These Steps

By Modern60, Editorial Team

Last Updated on April 2nd, 2024

Senior Health & Wellness

Switch From Paper To Electronic Records With These Steps

Healthcare establishments maintained records on paper for years, which changed with the introduction of the HITECH Act. The act requires healthcare organizations to move from paper to electronic records by adopting a basic Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. By implementing an EHR system, healthcare providers can integrate a range of information, such as healthcare history, billing information, and demographics. Here are seven easy steps to help healthcare centers switch from paper to digital health records.

Set the plan

The first step in transitioning from paper to digital records is to create a plan. The plan could include determining what data needs to be entered into the new system. The administrator should consider the most critical data for resident care and population health management and omit what may not be needed.

Research available vendors

Once the administration has a plan, they should consider the available vendors for EHR software. Each vendor will offer unique features and services. One must consider each vendor and determine the markets they serve and the features offered by the software. One should also schedule demos with a sales representative before they sign up for the EHR system. In addition, the administrators must send requests for proposals detailing the software features that interest the facility. Another essential step in getting to know a vendor is to read reviews from past and existing clients on various websites. This could help better understand how the EHR software provider deals with complaints and their responsiveness to complications like software bugs and downtime.

Understand the cost and associated benefits

In addition to setting a plan, a healthcare administrative body must also consider the costs of an EHR system and its associated benefits. The average budget per user for EHR software is about $1200. However, this cost depends on the size and needs of the healthcare provider and the vendors. This cost may also be reduced for bigger establishments based on the number of users in the plan. Therefore, one should speak to the potential vendor about factors like ROI and how they could get the best value for money from the software.

Start EHR training

To set up an effective EHR system, it is essential to train the staff members who will be operating and entering data into the system. Doing so will ensure each professional is well-versed in the new platform and knows how to use it effectively. The person installing the software could look into online long-term care EHR training resources available at no additional cost. Apart from teaching nurses and other staff how to use the software, the facility administrators must also ensure frequent training sessions to help the healthcare team stay up-to-date with the latest software changes in their EHR.

Check for EHR interoperability

Despite the benefits of EHR systems, healthcare establishments often use different options for managing patient data, which makes data exchange difficult. This could be troublesome when patient information needs to be passed on from one establishment to another immediately. Therefore, when implementing an EHR system, one should ensure the information can be securely exchanged with other systems without special efforts or manual processes.

Create a reliable patient portal

Several patients prefer having their healthcare records for digital access at any time. And while an EHR system may include a patient portal, they are usually left unused because they are unreliable. To encourage patients to use the portal, healthcare providers should encourage patient enrollment, advertise the portal, and make necessary upgrades to keep up with the latest healthcare advancements. Healthcare professionals should also be available to answer any questions users might have about the portal. The patient portal must also be compatible with various devices, including laptops and smartphones. Furthermore, incentivizing patients with rewards can encourage them to access and use the digital healthcare hub.

Focus on data security

Transitioning from paper to digital records means the files must be protected from cyber-attacks. Therefore, one should focus on data security by purchasing an EHR server that meets the HIPAA patient information confidentiality standards. The administration should also use data encryption, which helps secure patient information from unauthorized access during transmission and storage. Regular backups could prevent data loss due to accidents or cyberattacks. Besides safeguarding digital files, the facility staff should also get rid of paper records by burning or shredding them. This will ensure they do not get lost or stolen. However, it is essential to verify the laws and regulations governing paper records before destroying them. Always keep a record of the eliminated paper records.

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Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at Modern60 is a group of highly skilled professionals with diverse backgrounds in journalism, content creation, editing, and digital media. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to ensure that every piece of content meets our strict editorial guidelines and quality standards. The team is dedicated to delivering accurate, well-researched, and engaging content across various subjects, including health, wellness, lifestyle, and current events. With their commitment to upholding the highest standards of journalism and content creation, the Modern60 Editorial Team is the driving force behind our mission to empower and inspire our readers.

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