Like most large healthcare facilities or hospitals, implementing digital formats for all records at once can be an impossible and overwhelming tasks.

Starting small and easing into electronic systems makes the task doable.  Like projects when we were young, the principles still hold- take a large task and make it into bite-sized pieces.  For EHRs that often starts with ePrescribing and scheduling patient appointments.  Microsoft and Google have online tools for scheduling appointments as well as managing patients in a user-friendly simple manner.

Encourage your patients to enter into a PHR system (of which many like Microsoft HealthVault are free) and connect with this to get a handle on each patient.

Connect with mainframes at the laboratory that you send your blood and tissue samples to.  Most laboratories that you frequently use are happy to supply a system to your office that directly connects you to your patient’s results. (bear in mind that the results are only for this particular lab).

Designate one person in your office to look at the various systems available with templates specific to your specialty.

Once this is done (which can take 6 months), have a conference between the vendor and office staff to see if the specific system is for you.

After these steps are taken, you may be ready to take the plunge.

Remember however, we are taking bite-sized pieces.  Only put in new patients or older patients as they come in for their new consultation or examination.  Inactive patients do not need to clutter up your time and system.  By the end of the year, you will be surprised at the number of records that have been managed correctly.

Good luck with your choice and your conversion.

If you need further help, do not hesitate to contact me at: