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    Physicians share lessons learned after switching EHRs

     

    Don’t rubber stamp

    Fuchs says he knew it was unrealistic and prohibitively expensive to transfer all the data in his prior EHR to his new one. Still, he acknowledges, the practice should have paid more attention to that process. He says the new vendor migrated three patient charts to show them how data would show up in the new EHR. “We thought it looked OK, so they did it to all of our patient charts. But when we started using it we realized that there were some downsides,” Fuchs says. 

     

    Further reading: 5 ways to get the most out of an IT partner

     

    If his practice had taken more than a few minutes when reviewing the test run, they could have saved themselves the “dozens of hours of wasted time” required to clean up the transferred data.

    Don’t import too much old data

    Croy says in the past she imported PDFs of old records into her new EHR, a costly and tedious task. Plus, the PDFs were difficult to navigate and tended to have scrambled information and outdated data. Croy says she was more selective when she switched EHRs a year ago, instead importing only the data she deemed valuable. She started with patient names, birthdates, Social Security numbers and key test results. “The rest we put in as they came in, so we didn’t have a lot of bad data,” Croy says.

    Don’t wait too long to switch

    Fuchs had his old EHR for about 12 years but says he wished he had switched earlier. “We’re kicking ourselves for acting like a captive without thinking about alternatives,” he says, adding that doctors “owe it to themselves to look at what else is out there every few years.” 

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