March 13, 2024

10 Common Revenue Cycle Challenges After Implementing Epic EHR

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The implementation of Epic, a widely-used electronic health record (EHR) system, undoubtedly brings significant advancements to healthcare systems. However, like any major technological transition, it comes with its own set of challenges. Here, we delve into the top 10 challenges health systems often face after an Epic implementation.

1. User Training and Adoption (Revenue Accountability)

Ensuring that healthcare professionals are proficient in using the new EHR system is crucial. Training programs must be comprehensive and ongoing to facilitate a smooth transition and prevent disruptions in patient care and revenue recognition. Better performing organizations create a culture of revenue accountability during the implementation phase to ensure that service line leaders understand how charges are generated for their operational area and which reports and tools are available to aid in daily revenue reconciliation.

Collaboration is key! The Revenue Integrity team must have open lines of communication and regular meetings with revenue generating departments to maximize charging compliance and reduce revenue leakage.

2. Workflow Disruptions

Epic implementation can lead to changes in established workflows, potentially causing temporary disruptions in daily operations. It’s essential to anticipate these adjustments and proactively address issues to maintain the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

Revigate specializes in Epic workflow optimization to improve revenue cycle performance.

3. Data Migration Issues

Transferring vast amounts of data from legacy systems to Epic can pose challenges, including data integrity issues and potential data loss. Thorough planning and rigorous testing are vital to minimize the risk of information gaps.

4. Interoperability Challenges

Ensuring seamless communication between Epic and other existing systems is a common hurdle. Interoperability issues can impact the exchange of patient information across different platforms; compromising the continuity of care, recognition of revenue, or cause delays in the cash conversion cycle. Identifying and testing all interface and extract requirements during implementation is crucial to minimizing issues post implementation.

5. Customization and Optimization

While Epic offers a high degree of customization, striking the right balance is crucial. Over-customization can lead to complications, and ongoing optimization is necessary to fine-tune the system based on user feedback, evolving organizational needs, and enhancements in Epic and other third party solutions.

6. Cost and Resource Management

Epic implementation is a significant financial and resource investment. Managing costs and resources effectively, both during and after implementation, is essential for long-term sustainability and maximizing a return on investment. Most organizations leverage external consulting resources to help manage their Epic implementation. Dismissing these resources too soon after an Epic implementation can be a costly mistake. Better organizations ensure that there is a transfer of knowledge and formal transition plan before dismissing these highly skilled Epic consultants.

7. User Burnout and Satisfaction

The learning curve associated with new technologies can contribute to user burnout. Continuous support, feedback mechanisms, and addressing user concerns are crucial to maintaining high levels of job satisfaction among healthcare professionals.

8. Regulatory Compliance & Lack of Internal Controls

Healthcare systems must navigate complex regulatory landscapes, and an EHR system like Epic must comply with various standards. Staying abreast of evolving regulations and ensuring ongoing compliance is a continuous challenge. Using the charge router to manipulate charges is often a necessary task, however, organizations should aim to leverage the charge router as the option of last resort. Practicing good charge router hygiene and implementing governance processes will help ensure that you aren’t unintentionally  creating compliance concerns.

9. Security Concerns

The digitization of health records brings forth cybersecurity challenges. Health systems must prioritize robust security measures to safeguard patient data, maintaining patient privacy and trust in the healthcare system.

10. Long-Term System Integration

As healthcare technology evolves, integrating new tools and technologies with Epic poses challenges. Health systems need to plan for long-term compatibility and integration to stay current with industry advancements and ensure that they are maximizing their return on their Epic investment.

Epic implementation undoubtedly transforms healthcare delivery, but the journey is not without its hurdles. Successful navigation through these challenges requires strategic planning, continuous training, and a commitment to optimizing the system based on user feedback and evolving industry standards and technology. Health systems that effectively address these challenges can unlock the full potential of Epic, improving patient care, operational efficiency, and financial performance.

Successfully navigating revenue cycle challenges post-Epic implementation requires a proactive approach, and you don’t have to go at it alone. Revigate is a boutique revenue cycle consulting firm specializing in all things Epic. Want to learn more about how we help? Schedule a call today!

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