Blogging about EHRs from a social service perspective
“We’re not building our business around the EHR. The EHR should change to fit our business.”
I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard that phrase over the years. Sometimes, either through admin functions or enhancement requests to the vendor, the EHR can change to fit the business. Sometimes, the technology just doesn’t exist (yet). Other times, it just isn’t good business practice, which is why the EHR doesn’t have certain capabilities in the first place.
In general, EHRs are designed to be a positive addition to business, to improve efficiency and patient care. The EHR and the business are complementary, each improving upon the other. EHR vendors and implementation specialists are experts on industry “best practices.” It makes sense that if a practice is spending a small fortune on EHR implementation, it presents a great opportunity for organizational change. On the other hand, a practice may have a novel business approach that gives the EHR room to grow, perhaps aiding other practices as well.
It’s not one or the other: EHRs should change for the business and the business should change for the EHR.