4 Steps to Get Your EHR Software Integrations Clinician-Ready
July 3, 2023
Electronic Health Record Software Integrations
When it comes to Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integrations, they should be provider friendly. During a patient appointment, clinicians don’t have time to open multiple applications in multiple screens to get their job done. They need to maximize every minute spent with patients. It is also important to offer healthcare providers all the tools they need with an intuitive, clean, and simple interface. Think Apple products─ they do it best!
Providers decide to enter the healthcare field because they want to help people, not because they want to test technology. When designing your software suite, it should pass through these filters:
- Improves patient care
- Optimizes workflows
- Meets regulatory requirements
- Is easy to use
Adding new software integrations can be a daunting undertaking. With new mandates and regulations requiring the use of certified ePrescribing software, you might be asking yourself, “where do I begin?”
In post, we break down the information you need to know so your EMR/EHR is prepared for software integration and implementation. Don’t forget to download the full guide.
Before you get started, you must choose the right integration partner. Of course, DoseSpot specializes in providing healthcare organizations of all kinds with an ePrescribing platform that is integrated into your EHR or EMR system. Other SaaS products will have a similar integration process but there will always be some variance. Knowing what to expect from the platform is essential.
Here are some questions to ask as you are evaluating healthcare SaaS vendors:
- What level of assistance does your platform provide in the integration process?
- What does the integration process look like with your company?
- What timeline can we expect?
- Does your platform have unique company-specific requirements?
You’ve chosen your solution provider. Signed all the contracts. Now what?
Step 1: The EHR Integration Kickoff
Your new ePrescribing partner should initiate a project kickoff. At DoseSpot, this is when you are assigned your dedicated account manager, implementation, and technical support specialist. During this meeting, you will review project requirements, documentation, project space, and certification requirements.
Before integration starts, there will be documentation for your team to complete. These forms will be similar from vendor to vendor. Here is a sample of some of the documents you might be expected to complete:
- Legal Agreements
- Identity Proofing (IDP), including vendor and provider verification attestation
- EPCS Audit Attestation (if applicable)
- Reseller Attestation
- Screed Demo Certification Attestation
Surescripts and EPCS Certification
You will begin the certification and review procedure for Surescripts during the documentation process. The aforementioned documents are required to complete certification. Depending on your integration provider, you can also begin the technical build during this phase.
Surescripts requires you to submit their questionnaire and meet the Required Message Types. Your website will also be reviewed during this process to ensure it meets all requirements.
There are four message types required for certification. Those are:
- RxRenewals (refills)
At DoseSpot, there are additional message types that we recommend our ePrescribing clients certify for, especially if you accept insurance for patient visits.
- Eligibility and On-Demand Formulary
- Real-Time Prescription Benefit (RTPB)
- Medication History
Step 2: Software Integration Build-Out
The timeline in this phase can vary drastically from vendor to vendor. Level of integration, customization requirements, message types, developer skill, and other project commitments can all impact the development cycle. During this stage, your developers will be given access to all necessary tools and files. The build-out can be completed as quickly as your team is able to work. Because of this, it is essential that you strategically plan developers’ hours to meet the implementation timelines you outlined in the project kickoff.
At DoseSpot, we offer two levels of integration. JumpStart is our “out of the box” integration, and the build-out takes an average of one to two weeks. This does not include testing, quality, and Surescripts certification. With Full Integration, a completely customizable option, we advise our partners to budget six to twelve weeks as the timeframe for completion. We also schedule regular meetings to discuss milestones and answer questions and concerns each step of the way.
Step 3: Testing and Certification Finalization
After build-out, your ePrescribing solution provider should conduct a series of dry run testing or screen demos (depending on integration level) to ensure that everything is working as expected. With an out-of-the-box integration, it’s important to triple check any additional sign-offs, quality, or certification steps are required. In the case of ePrescribing your vendor should be able to provide any additional direction regarding certifications like Surescripts or Drummond Group for EPCS prescribing.
Step 4: Go Live!
Once certifications are obtained, your EHR/EMR can go live for providers to begin using the new integrated features, like ePrescribing. The improvements you have added should be consistent and predictable to increase operating efficiency. Your solution provider should also maintain regular check-ins to ensure everything is and remains performing as expected.
It is common for many SaaS platforms to not offer end-user support, as the business transaction is often through a practice management group, not with the providers or clinicians directly. When troubleshooting directly with users, it can expose private patient information and risk HIPAA violations. Instead, your EHR/EMR will have an admin(s) that will submit support requests on a provider/user’s behalf through your platform. Be prepared to dedicate an in-house resource to this responsibility.
Knowing what to expect in the software implementation process will prepare you for the time, cost, and workforce requirements associated with integrating ePrescribing software. The result is your clinicians can safely, securely, and efficiently send electronic prescriptions. This helps to streamline workflows, ensure compliance with government regulations, and makes it easy for new prescribers to onboard to the platform.
At DoseSpot, we keep it simple, so healthcare professionals can do what they do best─ deliver high-quality care to help patients achieve their health goals. If you are ready to learn more, request a demo here.