by Darcey Trescone, RN, BSN
We frequently hear a variety of responses around EMR ROI when working with agencies. Often after further discussion ROI was considered during initial purchase but then never revisited. Other times ROI is measured for a period and then falls by the waste side.
As months and years go by small issues with the system pile up until agency processes are out of sync with the tool and costs begin to grow rather than savings. Small issues that are not addressed in a timely manner turn into bigger issues that cost bigger money to address leaving it more difficult to get back to the original ROI estimated.
In the beginning you will most likely see your costs go up in time and some manual labor as your team gets going. It is also very normal to see decreased productivity in the office and the field as processes settle and stabilize, but this should not take years.
It is critical to establish time points for measurement of ROI. Agreed upon KPIs should have a baseline measurement that is monitored monthly and evaluated for savings at least quarterly. With a newly implemented EMR, if you are seeing costs rise and savings decrease, additional analysis is required to determine if you should continue to wait for the ROI or if it is time to act. Achieving ROI could take a year as you put in the effort to streamline utilization of the EMR within your agency.
a) What is the process in your area?
b) Where do you see inefficiencies and frustrations?
c) What do we need in the software to make your life easier? A wealth of information can be discovered in these interviews.
As savings and/or costs are identified in unanticipated areas these should be documented and added to your original ROI measurement plan. It takes time to appropriately deploy an EMR system, re-engineer processes, teach staff and monitor good utilization. If you have determined what exactly to measure and are actively working to integrate a new EMR system into your daily workflow you know this.
Darcey Trescone is a Healthcare IS and Business Development Consultant in the Post-Acute Healthcare Market with a strong background working with both providers and vendors specific to Home Care and Hospice. She has worked as a home health nurse and held senior operational, product management and business development positions with various post-acute software firms, where her responsibilities included new and existing market penetration, customer retention and oversight of teams across the U.S., Canada and Australia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2019 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. email@example.com