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Challenges to Implementing an Electronic Health Record

PUBLISHED ON: 07.30.2023
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There are certainly challenges to the EHR implementation process, but the need to transition to electronic health records is inevitable. Behavioral health is no exception, and though we may hold onto nostalgia for handwritten notes and paper records, the era of managing agencies on paper is drawing to a close. There are certainly challenges to implementing an electronic health record, and it’s better to be aware beforehand.

Embrace Technology

Recognizing the need to embrace electronic health records is the first step. While some clinicians may resist letting go of traditional documentation methods, a few crucial questions remain: Is it time to transition? If so, how do you select the right electronic health records system and get started? Alternatively, it may be time to shift to a different system if your current EHR no longer meets your needs. How do you gracefully abandon your outdated program and switch to a new one?

Planning for EHR Implementation Challenges

Successfully transitioning to electronic medical records requires proper planning, time allocation, and resource management, particularly for data migration. Migrating patient medical history and other critical data to a new digital system can be complex. It’s essential to involve everyone on your team in this significant undertaking. Training and implementing a new system demand considerable effort, but the long-term benefits outweigh the initial challenges. Adequate research, planning, and resource allocation are essential for smooth integration into the new electronic health records system.


Careful planning is essential for a successful implementation. Consider the timing of the implementation process carefully. Slow periods in your agency might be ideal, providing revenue from previous work and allowing a break from current treatment sessions. If no such slow period exists, consult with your team to identify when they would be most receptive to taking on this project. The best practice is to mitigate the disruption to clinical workflows within your organization. Aligning the transition with internal processes and personal deadlines can help employees focus on EHR integration effectively.

Organize the Change

Getting everyone on board with the change is crucial for a healthcare organization to have a successful EHR implementation plan. Understand that change can threaten your staff and healthcare providers, but you and your project manager can influence them positively with genuine commitment and enthusiasm for the transition. Invest time meeting with each employee individually to address their concerns and secure their commitment to the implementation process. Identify key staff members who can lead and support others for a smooth transition.

Preserving Patient Data

Safeguarding sensitive information within Electronic Health Records (EHR) is paramount. The shift to a digital format, while enhancing access to health information, brings challenges such as the risk of security breaches and the need for robust data privacy measures. It’s crucial to implement best practices like stringent access controls, regular security audits, and adherence to HIPAA regulations, alongside training staff in security protocols to balance EHR usability with the protection of patient information. When selecting an EHR system, features that ensure advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular updates are key to guarding against cyber threats, without compromising usability. This approach not only aligns with legal and ethical obligations but also upholds the integrity of patient care and trust in the digital healthcare sector.


Research is essential when selecting an EHR system. Take at least a month to explore various options, as choosing the right software is a long-term decision that should accommodate your agency’s growth and adapt to industry changes.

To aid your research process:

  • Utilize software directories and seek referrals from peers with EHR systems experience.
  • Engage your most vital team members to assist in the research, as they will be more invested in the entire process.
  • Assign department leaders to research specific needs related to their areas, such as medical billing or administration.

In conclusion, embracing electronic health records is inevitable and beneficial for behavioral health agencies. A successful transition depends on devoting adequate time and effort to research, planning, and securing clinical staff support, ensuring improved efficiency and patient care in the long run.

PIMSY, Your New EHR Vendor

For specific solutions, consider exploring PIMSY EHR Software, which aims to save time, reduce operational costs, and maximize profitability for your agency.

Selecting the proper behavioral health EHR involves careful consideration. We offer an implementation guide for our EHR Software to streamline the process and ensure you cover all bases as well as staff training resources and customer support.

Get in touch to share your EHR wish list with us:Phone: 877.334.8512, ext 1 Email: hello@pimsyehr.comFor additional resources and tools, visit our EHR Resource Center.

Author: pehradmin

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