4 Steps to Select an ED Information System

Electronic medical record implementation can be overwhelming for hospitals, but when it comes to emergency department information systems, there are four simple steps to select the right one, according to a whitepaper from CEP America.

1. Create a selection committee. An EDIS that performs poorly or does not coincide with the ED's culture can cause immediate problems, so a hospital must make sure it establishes an EDIS selection committee with the most appropriate stakeholders. "One of the biggest mistakes a hospital can make when seeking out an EDIS is doing so without input from those that will be using EDIS on a daily basis," according to the report.

2. Determine functional requirements. The selection committee must then determine all functional requirements of a desired EDIS, and those requirements should align with CMS' requirements for meaningful use. Among the most common EDIS requirements are registration and support for triage assessments, patient tracking and discharge instructions, clinical documentation, order entry and other reporting capabilities.

3. Compare options. After functional requirements have been defined, the committee must identify the right vendor that meets the ED's needs as well as CMS' meaningful use requirements. Contacting ED colleagues at other hospitals for input, recommendations and critiques of their own systems could help the comparison process.

4. Evaluate and make a selection. Hospitals should narrow down their options to two or three vendors, which will then lead to site visits. A cost-benefit analysis at this stage will help to reach a final decision.

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