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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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FAQs for RPMS Electronic Health Record

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What is a Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)?

CPOE allows authorized providers to prescribe medications, order lab tests, and radiology services, as well as retrieve results much more quickly than waiting on paper results to arrive. 

Does the EHR provide superior patient safety?

The EHR is designed to help providers manage, in a paperless, electronic environment, all aspects of patient care. By moving data retrieval and documentation operations to the EHR, patient care activities can occur simultaneously at multiple locations. It provides a full range of functions for data capture and retrieval to support the patient encounter, review, and follow-up including:

  • Patient lookup and personalized patient lists
  • Problem list management
  • Results notification and retrieval
  • Report retrieval
  • Document signing (in progress)
  • Clinical encounter documentation
  • Clinical decision support
  • Coding support (ICD and CPT)
  • Consult/referral generation and tracking
  • Health maintenance, immunizations, and reminders
  • Patient education and health and reproductive factors 

What financial benefits does EHR offer?

EHR offers the Indian health community a financial management solution that supports a patient-care revenue cycle from registration through billing and collections. Users can more quickly and effectively capture, manage, and collect revenue throughout the patient flow process. Using EHR may also mean faster and more accurate coding, which often results in billing at more accurate and higher levels. 

What are the administrative support advantages to using the EHR?

Implementing the EHR may significantly reduce costs compared to using paper and paper-based processes as well as reduce or eliminate data entry backlogs. The EHR offers authorized users secure and immediate access to information from multiple locations. The improvements in quality of care and patient safety have the potential to significantly reduce risk and risk management-related activities, and costs. In addition, as users become more familiar with the EHR and its capabilities, productivity may also increase due to less time spent on slower, paper-based activities, such as tracking down clarification of handwritten orders and notes and misplaced paper charts, as well as time saved on faster order and results notifications. 

What are the keys to a successful EHR implementation

The implementation of any new software means adopting work-flow process, training, and support for individual users as they tackle the learning curve. Steps include:

  • Make the decision to implement EHR
  • Obtain a firm commitment from leadership and medical staff buy-in
  • Obtain the necessary financial/human resources to successfully implement EHR
  • Create an EHR implementation team to include representatives from every department
  • Complete the EHR site questionnaire to notify both the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the California Area Office of your interest and commitment
  • Appoint a EHR project manager to manage the transition process
  • Determine how Clinical Application Coordinator (CAC) responsibilities will be carried out and initiate the hiring process as needed.
  • Subscribe to the EHR List Serv and plan to send key staff to EHR training
  • Develop a plan for training and support of new users
  • Plan for a minimum of 9-12 months to prepare and successfully begin implementation of EHR.