5 tips for a smooth EHR-to-EHR transition

As EHRs continue to age out from first and second generation software, hospitals and health systems will increasingly look to transition their current systems to a new platform.

John McGreevey III, MD, associate clinical medicine professor at Penn Medicine, and Ross Koppel, PhD, senior fellow of Penn Medicine's biomedical informatics institute, in a Nov. 16 blog post outlined five tips and considerations for healthcare organizations ahead of making an EHR transition.

1. Be ready to provide much more support than typical hospital operations require since new EHRs drum up massive training expenses and significant time commitments among IT personnel, clinicians and consultants.

2. Ensure as many of the variations in the organization's typical operations are standardized before a transition because those alterations most likely will not translate easily over to the new EHR system.

3. Hire more IT staff to support the EHR transition since it will create new work and maintenance tasks. However, it's also important to enlist networks of clinical subject matter experts to assess and endorse the clinical content that will live within the EHR.

4. Be aware of patient safety threats stemming from limited access to legacy records and different definitions or standards for data during the switch.

5. Remember that EHR-to-EHR transitions are still relatively new territory and that each organization must ultimately find its own path for a successful implementation.


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