Implementing an Electronic Health Record system is not an easy task to accomplish. During the implementation phase, risk issues include the consequences of the adjustment period, the need to acquire new information, the need to adopt new practices, the need to figure out flaws in the system, and the need to improve the system in order to achieve a certain level of cost-efficiency within the business organization. The failure to anticipate and develop appropriate solutions to the aforementioned issues may lead to delays in the implementation of the new EHR system.
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The Adjustment Period
It is during the adjustment period when the stakeholders and users of the system become acquainted with the steep learning curve. Prior to the implementation of the new EHR system, employees and administrators in the said health care facility were familiar with an old system of recording and tracking critical data. It is safe to assume that the old system was slow and inefficient. The users of the obsolete system had problems with access and documentation of crucial patient information. However, the implementation of a new system requires a period of adjustment.
In this specific window of opportunity, the employees and administrators are expected to allocate resources in order to study an utilize a new system. It is during this phase that they will experience stress. They will also encounter errors and other problems that will prevent them from recording critical information. There is a medium level probability that this type of risk will affect the implementation process. However, the impact is expected reach between medium to high depending on the ability of the administrators to anticipate and prepare the workers and other stakeholders (Carter, 2008). In order to mitigate the impact of the said risk, it is imperative to develop the appropriate training methodologies. The purpose of forward thinking is to train the users and to anticipate the challenges ahead.
Improving the System
The second major source of risk is related to the need to improve the system. Once users are able to overcome the challenges that they encountered during the adjustment period, the next phase is to look for flaws. This is a critical step, because the new EHR system is being tested in a real-world setting. In most cases, administrators run parallel systems, using both old and new recording systems. Thus, the recording process continues without fail even as the new system is collecting health care information. There is a low probability of encountering flaws that administrators are unable to rectify. However, there is a high probability of discovering flaws that will require them to use additional resources in order for them to resolve the said issues. Administrators must develop an efficient reporting system in order to mitigate the impact of the said risk issue (Skolnik, 2011).
The final state of testing requires the adjustment of the new EHR system in order to achieve a certain level of cost-efficiency. In other words, users and administrators require a system that is tailor-made to their needs. There is a low probability that they will find it impossible to make the necessary adjustments. However, it is highly probable that they will find it difficult to make the correct adjustments in order to establish an efficient system. In order to mitigate the impact of the said risk issue, it is imperative to invest time and resources in the planning phase. Thus, there is a need to spend more time during the consultation period. It is crucial to understand the concerns and needs of various stakeholders before approving the final design of the said EHR system.
Carter, J. (2008). Electronic health records: A guide for clinicians and administrators. New York: ACP Press.
Skolnik, N. (2011). Electronic medical records: A practical guide for primary care. New York: Springer.
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