Small medical facilities should implement system-wide data updates

While small medical facilities don't need to endure the same extensive decision processes as hospitals when plotting their transition to EMR software, the physicians and managers of these healthcare clinics can look to problems their larger counterparts have weathered to make their own internal updates more efficient. By analyzing where these larger entities have gone wrong, they may be able to save time and money in their own EMR updates.

For example, a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that many hospitals have tried to make their transitions to electronic medical software one piece at a time. In other words, some of these organizations have opted to switch over a certain type of computer or all their tablet devices at once, rather than updating their entire system.

"Clinicians and administrators are trying to build hospitals piecemeal, buying technologies one by one, hoping to make equipment and technology talk to each other," the March 2011 issue stated. "Yet in so doing, they are increasing healthcare costs and reducing health care quality."

While both avenues provide the same benefits for patients in the long run, the short-term difficulties hospitals have seen when undergoing a more segmented approach may make a system-wide update preferable.

Doctors may want to take note of this development. For example, by choosing to purchase their EMR hardware and software – whether it's a Medisoft, Lytec or Allscripts product – from the same company, small medical facilities may be able to better ensure that all of their updated components work together from day one onward. In addition, by working with a trusted provider of installation and training services they can gain the tools to troubleshoot and build on their existing systems so that someday they may even be able to achieve a paperless medical office.