Buying quality hardware, hiring external assistance, and getting buy-in from practice staff are key steps to a successful electronic medical record (EMR) system implementation, according to primary care physicians.
That information comes from a recent Medical Economics survey, in which 30 doctors were asked to identify what helped them prepare for EMR implementation.
Other tips were hiring a scribe to help with data-gathering and template-creation; identifying one main resource to guide the implementation process; establishing a timeline to complete online training each week before implementation; and setting up weekly telephone conference calls with your vendor.
According to the survey, almost half of participants hired an information technology (IT) professional or firm, 12% hired some other outside assistance, and 8% paid for assistance from a regional extension center.
The good news: Most of the doctors surveyed said they were making progress with their EMR implementations. A full 82% were e-prescribing and 74% were maintaining an active medication list. But, there was room for improvement: 19% of doctors have implemented one clinical decision support rule, and just 7% were electronically exchanging key clinical information with other entities.