There are many schools of thought about how one should implement an EMR in a physician practice.
Some feel that a full implementation is preferable - meaning that when a practice makes the decision to implement an EMR system, all components of that EMR should be implemented from day 1. This is obviously very challenging and takes a strong commitment from all members of a practice who will be required to change to the new system as of a certain date. Initially, the entire practice will be significantly slowed down. Allowance needs to be made for physicians and staff to get used to the system and therefore patient volume needs to be reduced to allow all members of the practice some time to become adjusted to the system. The advantage of this method of implementation is that it is more difficult to achieve full implementation due to the added complexity. However, by a certain date the entire practice is fully converted to the EMR and paper records can essentially be packed away once critical data is entered and a period of time has passed.
There is an equally strong movement who believe that a transitional implementation is preferable. In other words, key elements of the EMR are selected and implemented step-by-step according to an implementation schedule. This system of implementation takes longer, but is less traumatic to staff and physicians who are allowed to develop comfort with the processes before moving to the next step.
I am sure visitors to CanadianEMR would be interested to learn about colleagues experiences in implementation. How did you implement your EMR? Which approach do you feel is best?
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