Overcoming Barriers to Electronic Health Records

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At Calysta EMR, we understand the obstacles faced by aesthetic practices when transitioning from paper records to electronic health records (EHRs). As an EHR platform designed for your unique needs, we can help you overcome these barriers.

High Costs

One major barrier to EHR adoption is the high costs associated with purchasing, implementing, customizing and supporting an EHR system. The significant upfront investment along with ongoing expenses for maintenance, software updates and IT staffing can be prohibitive, especially for smaller practices.

Workflow Disruptions

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The transition process from paper records to an EHR system can temporarily reduce productivity and disrupt established workflows. Your staff may need to adapt and learn new processes. Without proper change management, this can negatively impact operations.

Technical Difficulties

Glitches, system outages and other technical problems with EHR software can further hamper adoption and use. Your practice may experience frustrations if these issues are not promptly addressed. Slow systems can reduce efficiency.

Data Migration Challenges

Migrating legacy patient data from paper to digital format is often complicated. If errors occur during data transfers, it can jeopardize data integrity. Flawed data can lead to medical errors or other patient safety issues.

Lack of Customization

Standard EHR systems may not be customizable to the unique needs of aesthetic practices. If the system is not intuitive or tailored for your specific workflows, your staff may struggle to adapt, limiting optimal use.

Dissatisfaction and Burnout

EHR-related stresses can contribute to clinician dissatisfaction and burnout. Factors like increased documentation burdens and system usability issues are common sources of frustration.

Barriers to Electronic Health Records FAQs

To help you further understand the barriers to EHR adoption, we've put together an FAQ to address some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from aesthetic practices. Having answers to these common questions will ensure you have the complete picture when it comes to the challenges of transitioning from paper records. 

What are the key features that should be present in an effective electronic health record system?

An effective electronic health record (EHR) system should have several key features. These include the ability to store and retrieve patient health information securely, support clinical decision making, enable electronic prescribing and ordering of tests, facilitate care coordination between providers, integrate with billing and claims processing systems, generate quality and safety reports, and allow patients to access their records online through a patient portal.

What are the different types of electronic health records?

There are generally two main types of electronic health records - standalone and integrated. 

Standalone EHRs are designed for one healthcare organization or practice. They contain the medical and treatment history of patients in that particular healthcare facility. 

Integrated EHRs connect the patient records from multiple providers into one unified interface. This gives authorized healthcare providers access to a patient's complete medical history from different doctors, hospitals, labs, pharmacies etc. beyond just one organization. 

What are some interesting facts about electronic health records?

Here are some key facts about electronic health records:

  • EHR adoption among office-based physicians in the US has grown from 18% in 2001 to 86% in 2017 according to CDC data.

What advantages do electronic health records offer?

EHRs improve patient care and safety, increase practice efficiency, reduce costs through less paperwork and duplicates, enable population health analytics, coordinate care across sites, and raise patient satisfaction through access and communication.

What benefits do electronic health records offer to patients?

EHRs allow patients to securely access records online, enable better care coordination between providers, reduce errors through alerts, eliminate repetitive paperwork, improve diagnostic accuracy, and increase engagement through communication tools, access to results, and self-management support.

What are the disadvantages of electronic health records?

EHR disadvantages include high upfront and ongoing costs, disrupted workflows during implementation, increased documentation burden on physicians, privacy and security risks, and technical issues like systems outages, slow performance, and integration difficulties.

How are electronic health records protected from unauthorized access?

EHR systems are protected from unauthorized access through measures such as:

  • Role-based access controls to limit staff access to necessary information only
  • Authentication via strong passwords, two-factor authentication or biometrics
  • Encrypting data at rest and in transit using methods like VPNs and HTTPS
  • Backup systems, disaster recovery plans and intrusion detection tools
  • Auditing mechanisms that record access and changes to patient records
  • Cybersecurity training for personnel on topics like phishing and social engineering
  • Policies prohibiting sharing of login credentials across users
  • Regular software patching and system security updates

Are electronic health records more secure than paper records?

Overall, properly implemented and secured EHR systems are considered more secure than paper records. EHRs remove the risks associated with lost, misfiled or misplaced paper files. However, digital records also introduce new cybersecurity risks if not properly protected. 

Who is responsible for regulating electronic health records?

Electronic health records in the United States are regulated by several governmental bodies that oversee different aspects of EHR adoption and use.

Regulatory BodyResponsibility
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)Sets standards for interoperability and data exchange, certifies EHR systems
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)Provides guidance on EHR use through their EHR Incentive Programs
Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil RightsEnforces HIPAA regulations related to security and privacy of patient data
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Regulates EHRs that qualify as medical devices

What are common issues faced with electronic health record systems?

Common EHR issues include poor system usability, unintuitive workflows, lack of interoperability between different EHR platforms, system outages preventing access to patient records, suboptimal response times leading to long wait times, inability to customize templates or tools, and problems with data accuracy from migration or integration failures.

Conclusion

While barriers exist, the right EHR partner can help you successfully transition to digital records. At Calysta EMR, we ease the challenges through affordable pricing, tailored workflows, responsive support and more.

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