Top 3 Considerations when Shopping for Long-term Care EHR
By Robin Viles, Clinical Sales Consultant, HealthMEDX, LLC
Over the course of my history as a Director of Nursing, Administrator, and a Clinical Consultant in long-term care, I have had numerous experiences from a provider’s standpoint with EHR solutions. At this point in my career, I wish I had the knowledge then that I do now regarding technology and its role in the long-term and post acute care space.
When it comes to it, the top 3 things I would look for in a solution given the knowledge I now possess from years of “hard-knocks” education are as follows:
- A system with one architecture (for single sign-on ability)
- A solution designed with true ease of use
- A product with proper Quality Assurance tools
Personally, I’ve experienced the value of signing in one time only to see what is going on across my different care settings. If I have a resident that is re-admitted or goes to a different facility within my organization, I don’t want to have to re-type all the same information over again that I should already have. A single architecture also enables you to do reporting and get to the details in one area or across the board, not just one location or organizational level.
When bringing on a solution, we all want ease of adoption by staff, so the EHR should be user friendly. I think about the past systems I have worked with and how I always got lost within the menus. If it wasn’t in an area I was in often, I always forgot how to get there. The importance of true adoption of a system by the end users cannot be overstated.
In the world of long-term care, as we are highly regulated, and want to give our residents the best care, we must have tools that assist us in Quality Assurance. If I have an EHR solution, I shouldn’t be completing spreadsheets for my monthly QA reports. Reporting and analytics is crucial to a sustainable product that really helps address quality of care goals.
The right system architecture combined with appropriate analytics and real adoptability ensures EHR can truly benefit a long-term care facility. Trust a nurse who had to learn some of these lessons the hard way!