Electronic health records have huge potential for endoscopy centers and early adopters will likely have an advantage over others as data becomes increasingly important in the healthcare space.
"I think the greatest opportunity for EHR systems is to continue to improve reporting functionality," says Chris Oubre, CIO of Covenant Surgical Partners. "In an ever-changing healthcare environment, the ability to pull data and to convert that data to usable information will be more important than ever."
Here are there quick tips from Mr. Oubre on choosing the right EHR:
• Define your goals for the EHR system before beginning your search. "The best advice I could offer is to start thinking about the end goal and then back into the implementation of the EHR," says Mr. Oubre. "Depending on whether the end goal is to create efficiency, allow for data sharing, improve outcomes (clinical, operational or financial), standardize processes or all of the above, answers to those questions will help drive how the EHR is implemented."
• Choose a system with the ability to run and pull reports. "The overall goal for having clinicians and physicians document all of these data points is so that the data can be converted to information and used in ways that will improve clinical, operational and financial outcomes in the GI center," he says.
• Don't forget EHR implementation is only part of the process; how the system is supported, maintained, customized and upgraded are also key points to consider. "I would argue that having internal resources that are clearly responsible for a majority of these items will yield better results than being 100 percent dependent on the EHR vendor," he says.
Both standalone surgery centers and large corporate entities will become extremely agile and adaptable to the changing healthcare environment with EHRs. "Having real time access to information and having the ability to make good management decisions based on this information will make struggling organizations good and will make good organizations better," says Mr. Oubre.
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