Going Paperless: Best Practices to Accelerate Your EMR Transition

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The world of Health Information Management (HIM) is rapidly changing as market and regulatory forces continue to drive the adoption of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR). The biggest barrier to EMR adoption isn’t technology, funding or the lack of understanding of the benefits.

Today, the biggest obstacle is adapting to newer workflows for delivering patient care in an EMR-enabled world. In other words, the biggest challenge is managing the change from a paper to digital environment.

In order to accelerate EMR adoption and reduce the reliance on paper, healthcare providers must come to terms with two fundamental concepts: (1) embracing a hybrid environment in which paper and digital records coexist, and (2) addressing the shortcomings of legacy paper record systems, including people, processes and technology.

Many providers manage the EMR adoption process through the IT function and manage HIM processes through the financial function. A deeper collaboration is critical to ensure legacy HIM processes are transitioned and translated to the electronic world. Providers that take a comprehensive approach to balancing electronic and paper records can develop a holistic document management solution that promotes organizational acceptance and adoption of the EMR.

This white paper proposes several strategies that providers should consider as they reengineer old workflows and prepare for the hybrid reality. Each provider is different and individual tactics will vary, but this paper offers a broad framework with which to get started.