Healthcare News & Insights

Avoid 4 common errors with your hospital’s EHR

Hospitals need to have electronic health records (EHR) systems that meet the needs of staff and patients. Using a system that doesn’t work for both groups can hurt your ability to provide high-quality care in an efficient manner, which could cause many problems down the line.  

ThinkstockPhotos-519329836Whether your facility is in the market for a new EHR or it’s looking to improve its existing system, there are several key areas to watch for when you’re evaluating different EHR systems and their usability.

Watch for pitfalls

Here are four common mistakes hospitals and other healthcare providers make all the time with their EHRs, according to an article in Medical Economics – and how you can be sure to avoid the same fate in your facility.

  1. Forgetting to think of tech issues. Your EHR may have many excellent clinical features. But it also needs to be user-friendly and easy to maintain from an IT standpoint. Many hospitals err by not considering the technological aspects of their systems. This includes everything from the ease of navigating between screens to the frequency of updates from the vendor. To prevent this problem, it’s important to get feedback from both your clinical staff and your IT pros to get the full picture of the functionality your EHR needs.
  2. Relying on autocorrect. Many EHRs will automatically fill in text for clinicians when they start typing a few letters. That means the wrong drug, diagnosis or other information could potentially be entered into a patient’s record without a provider even noticing it. If an autocorrect feature is enabled on your EHR, it’s a good idea to see if it can be turned off – or if it can be modified so it shows providers suggested words they can select from a menu instead of completing the word for them.
  3. Failing to let staff know about their duty to keep systems secure. With the sharp rise in ransomware attacks and other cybercrime against hospitals, all staff need to be fully aware of the precautions they must take when accessing EHRs and other systems, including making sure any links they click or attachments they open are from trusted sources. They must also know about the importance of keeping patients’ protected health information (PHI) secure.
  4. Forgetting to update workflow processes. Your clinicians may be taking extra steps when using EHR systems that aren’t necessary, such as writing out full prescriptions by hand only to enter them into a computerized medication ordering system later. This not only adds time, it increases the potential for medication errors. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to regularly review and audit your clinical staff’s workflow to make sure everyone is using your system efficiently without any added steps that waste time.

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