November 24, 2020 | Net Health

4 min read

4 Questions to Ask Before Transitioning to EHRs During COVID-19

Big changes come with real concerns. But as the old gambler’s adage says, “You can’t win what you don’t put in the middle.” And while the sentiment that big changes often lead to substantial benefits is true, our employee health records and compliance are certainly things we don’t want to be gambling with, especially with the quickly changing landscape spurred on by COVID-19.

When you couple the new needs for compliance brought on by regulatory shifts from government agencies across the board with the desire to ensure we’re best taking care of our employees and our patients’ safety, it illustrates the real need for a change. One option a lot of providers are turning to is allowing technology to bridge the gap through electronic employee health records software.

Before making the switch from paper records or makeshift spreadsheets to a dedicated digital solution, though, there are real questions we should be asking. And with the right answers, we can confidently put our concerns to rest, make the shift, and enjoy the lasting benefits that come with a complete digital employee health solution.

The transition to electronic health records for your employees looks to offer big rewards but is it worth it? We need to ask a few more questions to better substantiate that claim.

1. How Much Training is Required for Your Teams?

One of the chief benefits of transitioning to electronic employee health records is lightening the load on your back-office staff so that they can be better equipped and resourced to perform their jobs. According to a survey from the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP), the average ratio of an employee health nurse to healthcare worker is 1 to 1,344.1

Before we make the decision to transition, we need to look at what that transition looks like. Is the required training manageable? Does the new system actually make the work more efficient? Do frontline employees need new training as well? Are there proper resources available to facilitate the training and aid in a smooth transition? What happens when you have questions?

2. What’s It Going to Cost?

Protecting your bottom line is not only good for your healthcare organization, but it also empowers you to take better care of your patients and staff. How much is the new system going to cost? Are there recurring costs for upgrades and updates to the systems? Are there any integration costs with current hospital systems?

Here’s the good news. Effective software solutions for employee health departments in hospitals or any healthcare setting can actually save money in the long run. By helping to prevent injuries, limiting the need for costly investigations, reducing rehiring and employee turnover costs, increasing staff efficiency, and even just saving on the cost of paper, the right solution turns this question into a major benefit.

3. Can We Trust the Solution?

Arguably one of the most important questions to ask is whether or not you can trust the solution to do what it says it will. Ultimately, this comes down to the quality and track record of the solution. Are they regularly updating the software to stay up to speed with compliance? Do these upgrades address the growing needs of COVID-19? Is the product being used by other hospitals and healthcare companies with success? Does the company have experience with other hospital systems and integrations?

4. Is It Worth It?

Frontline staff is the lifeblood of any healthcare organization. Ensuring they’re safe, taken care of, and safely in compliance with all state and federal regulations is something you know you owe them for their hard work. But while it’s easy to remember to support staff that interacts with patients, it’s equally important to take care of back-office teams too. One way to do this is to provide them with the top tools and resources available to help them do their job to the best of their abilities.

Ultimately, the right solution can be a win across the board, for frontline staff, and for back-office teams.

The First Step We Can Take Today

Any changes to how we protect our staff, patients, and businesses going forward now has to be framed within the confines of COVID now and COVID in the future. This starts with fully understanding the current regulatory landscape the pandemic has created.

In our newest free e-book, Four Things OccMed & Employee Health Departments Need to Know about COVID, our experts take a deep dive into the current status of COVID regulations and actionable ways to begin adapting. Topics of focus include new OSHA guidelines on effective mask use, the hierarchy of COVID-19 controls, regulatory easement surrounding telehealth, and public health reporting requirements.

4 Things OccMed & Employee Health Departments Need to Know about COVID

Take the first step towards implementing an organized approach to the changing landscape.

References

1AOHP 2016 Online Staffing Survey Results, AOHP. 2016

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