Conducting an EHR Software Test
By the time you are ready for testing the integration of your system into your practice (before your go-live launch), your staff should have completed all the required training in respect to their job duties and responsibilities.
The Importance of EHR Testing
You should have established new workflow processes so that each individual and departments knows their responsibilities in regards to patient input, clinical documentation, billing, scheduling and patient follow up. It is critical to thoroughly test your EHR implementation before you face real, live patients. Thorough testing will ensure that all processes are running smoothly and will allow you to identify areas of confusion or fall-out that will likely arise. It is much better to test and re-test without real patients to avoid patient, clinician and administrative frustration. This testing will help to ensure a successful Go-Live.
Assign testing to staff that have been involved in creating the new EHR workflows and have great attention to detail and patience. You want your staff to find issues or breakdowns in the system, in order to correct them before implementation on real patients.
Your EHR system should allow you to create “test patients” in order to practice every aspect of clinical documentation, billing, ordering prescriptions, printing patient education handouts, scheduling etc. Create a patient case scenario (one that you are comfortable and familiar with, example: Wellness visit for 80 year old man). Test the system by inputting every component of documentation that would be required for a real patient, from demographic input, to review of medications, vitals, physical examination, referral, medication prescriptions, future appointment and patient education handout.
Real-Time EHR Testing
Next, take this testing a step further. Utilize a staff member to represent a real patient. Take each individual in the department and have them execute their role in seeing the patient. The receptionist will gather their identification and consent forms, and input the information into the system. Have the nurse gather their history, vitals and input all necessary information. The physician should perform their physical exam and input their data. Follow through with plan of care and scheduling. By testing the system in real time, you will have a greater indication of the potential gaps in understanding or workflow.
Of course, after you have identified any areas of discontinuity, you can work to actively correct the issues. You may need to implement more training or consult with the EHR vendor. After correcting the issues, retest. Then retest again. You should retest until you find no further issues. Then, you can present your successes to the administration and senior management. Your practice can be confident that you are ready to Go-Live.
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