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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 16(3); 2010 > Article
Ryu: Successfully Choosing Your EMR: 15 Crucial Decisions
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The book is written for hospitals and clinics in the U.S. deploying their first EMR as well as for those ready to replace their existing EMR with a new one, or an integrated EMR/computer practice management (CMP) solution, or an EMR that also offers a patient-portal. Recently, the U.S. federal government has expressed its intent to enact widespread health reform. This book details how early adoption of EMR systems by hospitals and private physicians would assure successful implementation of health reform in the U.S.
This book also serves as a practically invaluable guide to IT practice managers in hospitals in Korea. Earlier EMR adopters in Korea, such as tertiary and large-scale hospitals, would be leaders in e-hospital-based global healthcare. However, mid- and small-sized hospitals could also adopt EMR systems.
The book includes useful contents, such as reasons of EMR adoption, methods for enhancing practice and effects of CPM system, structured data and report generation, interaction with EMR, interoperability, workflow enhancement/EMR customization, documenting office workflow, evaluating vendor stability, lawyer proofing EMR, configuration and deployment, crisis planning and mitigation, protecting patient data, and negotiation of agreement with the vendor.
The book also includes 15 crucial EMR decisions that must be made whenever you adopt, develop, and manage an EMR system. This book guides you through the factors that affect these decisions; it is both practical and fairly thorough. These 15 crucial decisions are the branches of a "Crucial Decision Tree" that must be navigated. The 15 EMR crucial decisions™ covered in the book are:
  1. The most fundamental question concerning EMRs -Is now the right time to adopt?

  2. What method will you use to build a staff consensus to adopt an EMR in your practice?

  3. What level of EMR functionality will you deploy?

  4. Will a freeform or structured clinical patient data approach serve you better today? What about in 5 years?

  5. How does everyone in your office prefer to interact with an EMR? Should it be accessible to patients to enter data? Do you want to implement multiple user interfaces?

  6. Do you want an in-office (client-server) or a Web-based (Software-as-a-Service) EMR deployment? What are the fundamental implications of each choice?

  7. What level of data structuring will meet your needs today and 5 years from now?

  8. What is your preferred level of interoperability with other EMRs, EHRs, HIOs, PHRs, Registries, and Public Health Agencies?

  9. Do you want a WfME EMR or a conventional EMR? How can you document your current paper-based workflow so you'll better know what you need in an EMR?

  10. What core medical record content do you need and what specialty-specific features do you require?

  11. What makes an EMR developer a stable business partner?

  12. Do you need legal advice to mitigate the risks of EMR purchasing or licensing agreements?

  13. Can someone in-house support your EMR, or do you need an outside contractor for local support services?

  14. What must you do to keep from having an EMR Emergency? What must you do to protect your patient records from loss or theft and make them HIPAA-complaint?

  15. What will you spend transforming your practice from a paper to EMR system? Do you need legal assistance to get the EMR contract right? If so, where do you find it?

This is a timely reference for those hospitals and IT practice managers who are to obtain an EHR or upgrade their current system. The book uses the motif of a dialog personalized to physicians and their staffs, but is also a good read for practice managers, physician organizations, EMR consultants, EMR developers, insurers, government policy makers, or anyone else interested in understanding this cutting-edge medical technology from a care provider's point of view. The book provides good practical understanding about EMR systems to those stakeholders and acts as an introduction to the e-hospital era. The e-book version will satisfy agile readers.
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