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Electronic health records (EHR) can bring many benefits to providers and the people they serve. But deploying a new EHR system can also result in unanticipated and undesirable consequences, according to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Guide to Reducing Unintended Consequences of Electronic Health Records describes those consequences and then offers tips on how to anticipate, avoid and address them. While the guide was developed based on the experience of hospitals and physician offices, it may offer some valuable lessons to long-term and post-acute care providers.
The AHRQ report, which was prepared by the Rand Corporation, suggests that EHR implementation can often rock the boat at an organization by bringing about potentially disruptive changes in the way the organization does business on a daily basis. As a result, an organization can find itself dealing with unexpected fallout associated with:
Lest the unintended consequences of EHR implementation appear too daunting, the AHRQ report provides myriad strategies for anticipating, avoiding and addressing those consequences both during and after the implementation phase. Here is a sampling:
A few CAST sponsors and members discussed similar strategies in the collection of case studies that CAST published recently as part of its Preparing for the Future report.