Is a move from an older EMR easier than moving from paper?

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After having assisted numerous practices to move to EMR’s and after my last implementation experience, I decided to reflect upon the differences between these two types of transitions.

One of the difficulties of moving from paper to an EMR is properly accounting for the mind shift required for the staff and providers. No longer having a physical chart takes some getting used to and can be very difficult for some staff. Hence taking existing EMR users and moving them to a modern/ONC Certified system should be a snap right?

Is a move from an older EMR easier than moving from paper?

Well maybe not.

While the practice’s staff already understands the concepts of EMR there are other issues that will come up. Almost every system does something well, and users of that system will either love these functions or not notice them until they go away or change, then all hell can break loose!

It can be very difficult for both the consultant and the practice to identify if there are any such functions without literally running through the full work flow ahead of time on the proposed new system and then the determination needs to be made as to how serious the issue is and if it’s a deal killer. Once you go live, its too late to do anything about it and you have to adjust processes to move forward.

Often lost in the hectic Go Live of a new system as problems are discovered are the positive new enhancements, features, capabilities, etc.. that will in the long run improve work-flow, cut costs and enhance the patient’s care.

It’s important to remind everyone of the big picture and that the temporary transition pain will yield big dividends in the long run.

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