EHR Implementation: How to Begin the Process

December 11, 2018

EHR Implementation:

How to Begin the Process


Planning out an Enterprise EHR implementation is a complex process that goes beyond simply working with an EHR vendor.  Identifying the organization’s strategic initiatives and how the EHR application is going to support those initiatives are key factors in any implementation

EHR vendors have extensive experience creating applications, monitoring data needs, addressing user demands, and dispersing real-time information to multiple care providers.

Configuring software, for example, requires modifications to accommodate state regulations. While EHR vendors are compliant with these regulations, the software will only preform as well as it was configured. One major concern faced during an EHR implementation is the level of expertise provided by the vendor’s implementation team. When working with EHR vendors, it’s important to ensure you have the ability to refuse and/or replace resources. This will help to ensure all allocated resources are providing value to the project.

It’s important to remember to focus planning efforts to focus on the system being ready to support the strategic initiatives. Don’t take for granted the EHR vendor will get it done. Here are two examples from different hospital systems each implementing a different vendor’s solution:

  1. A hospital system with multiple outpatient clinics goes live using the vendors approach to reporting.  After completing the go-live phase, M.U reports are compiled. However, the reports compiled do not display the correct data.  Because there was a lack of specific focus at the start of the project, the team and vendor needed an additional two months to correctly compile the reports.
  2. A 5-hospital system with multiple outpatient clinics discovers after their go-live they are losing significant money. The financial loss occurs because the vendor did not configure the billing rules engine, therefore the charges weren’t tested accurately for processing. This hospital system accepted the vendor’s testing approach and did not fully complete parallel testing, when bills are drop so they can be validated.

Unfortunately, a hospital organization must take part in managing the vendor to verify the system can functionally serve healthcare organization properly at go-live.  Below are four key factors to consider when managing an EHR vendor.

In the age where vendors create report cards on their clients performance, hospital systems need to put the vendor in check when the risks are high and the probability for them to become real, exists (as portrayed so many times in the news). How are things different now than in past EHR experiences?


Todd Klein

VP EHR Services & Digital Solutions