The medical sector has been devoted to meeting meaningful use requirements and remaining HIPAA compliant in recent years. This means that healthcare facilities have gone on to implement electronic health records (EHRs) and e-prescribing software to help improve patient care and ensure the safety of personal information.
Healthcare IT consulting professionals have helped train staff on HIPAA compliance and create the encryptions necessary to secure and privatize data. However, hospital CIOs have found that EHR implementation is not a simple process and have encountered various problems when systems have shut down or ran significantly slow.
When EHRs are not running properly, the patient experience can be affected negatively, reported American Medical News. For instance, when medical scheduling software goes awry, there may be an influx of patients sitting for hours in the waiting room.
"One of the toughest things is that folks view EHR implementation as a technology project, and it is because you are making a sizable investment in hardware, software, licenses and all that stuff," Amit Trivedi, health care programs manager for ICSA Labs, told the news source. "But it's easy to forget that ultimately it's a people and process project, not as much technology."
A lack of infrastructure could create the biggest problems for medical facilities, said Becky Little, director of clinical operations for Genesis Ob/Gyn. This means that there needs to be enough hardware and bandwidth to connect all of the computer systems within a facility in order to run EHRs efficiently. A faster running network could speed up radiology and lab work, which in the long run will streamline diagnostics.
When it comes to improving the patient experience and remaining HIPAA compliant, medical providers should confer with a hospital consultant specialized in healthcare IT consulting.