Where to Start with EHR Implementation [eBook series 5 of 6]
By now you should be familiar with the enabling EHR technologies and various technical considerations for adopting this application. But there are one other consideration that is often overlooked.
Often, migrating to a new technology can be a challenging and lengthy process for staff members. Healthcare providers might use multiple methods for documenting medication administration. For example, there might be a paper trail combined with a BCMA system.
While the practice for dual documentation may be well intended, the duplicated effort may also contribute to medication administration errors. It’s also very likely to reduce staff productivity.
Therefore, ensuring the adoption of a good BCMA system based on excellent barcode technology is so important. With it, the staff is more confident in relying on a single system for medication administration. It can help with all kinds of tasks as mentioned before, from barcode scanning medications to populating the information for tracking and monitoring medication administration.
A BCMA system can be used to audit and check for proper medication administration.
But, it’s important to consider it not be used to document inaction or improper administration for punishment. The last thing any staff wants to do is use a system that adds more workload or that can be used against them.
So, take advantage of a BCMA system’s ability to verify proper administration in a way that positively reinforces its use and reliance with staff.
These key capabilities are a foundation for getting patient and user acceptance.
For patients, it helps administrators easily lay out key benefits, such as efficiency gains during routine visits and security and control the patient will have over their EHR.
For staff, it becomes easier to demonstrate how it adds convenience and speed to their daily workflow procedures.
But, educating patients and users about this, and gaining their acceptance, must start with a solid EHR system that can deliver every single time. This includes using familiar technologies mentioned so far herein.
Where to Start
Today, there is a push to innovate away from desktops, paperwork, and similar workflow items without regard to considering how entrenched they remain to everyday business. The call to action is ensuring integration with cloud and mobile technologies. However, desktop use still remains as dominant as ever. Whether it’s a longstanding organization or a new one, member directory can help legitimize the group. They’re an instrument you can use to showcase strong membership rates, advertise membership levels, and tout standout members and their accomplishments.
In looking at scanning first, scanning and inputting documents while sitting by a traditional scanner must be expanded upon.
Image capture today must also include on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other such devices where built-in cameras can be leveraged.
However, it also needs to happen securely and across cloud and local or remote server platforms. These are all capabilities that must be considered.
For an example, let’s look at a potential platform requirement for a web-based application. You’ll want to identify what browser types the application needs to support. This includes determining if users will be required to maintain a minimum browser type or version.
So, for example, will your web-based application work only on IE version 9 or later? Or, is it important that you support other browsers too: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and so on?
Ensuring support for browsers will help guarantee continuous workflow and reduce support issues.
Another important consideration will be how well any new EHR solution will integrate into existing workflows and systems.
For example, you’ll need to verify if desktop access is enough for your users. Or would users benefit from a web client to be able to check records from any computer containing a browser and network access?
Ultimately, to ensure an increase in productivity and cost savings, you need to ensure simplicity in a user’s efforts to use the EHR.
1D or 2D barcode
Once you figure out how you want to use barcodes, it’s time to figure out which symbologies might be best. 1D barcodes are widely used in hospitals for purposes such as identifying medications or prices.
However, there is a growing need for barcodes to store more and more data and to be used in mobile applications. So, these two new requirements today have many looking to adopt 2D barcodes in healthcare practices too.
Compared to linear 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes have the advantage of more memory capacity and storing more information types within less barcode space. Obviously, this makes 2D barcodes more convenient for mobile scans.
Whichever you opt for, make sure you properly analyze your requirements to cover all workflow needs. Sometimes, a specific barcode type can work for many applications while other times, different barcode types may be needed for different usage scenarios.
When deciding the barcode type, you must also research barcode scanning devices that support each. Some old barcode scanner models may not work with 2D barcodes.