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Best Practices for Converting from Paper Documentation to EHR

Best Practices for Converting from Paper Documentation to EHR

Implementing a new EHR software can be daunting, especially if your practice is currently using paper documentation. An EHR solution can save you time and money and provide better security of confidential and sensitive records. With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, Criterions has learned a few best practices from our clients for converting from paper documentation to EHR:

Develop a Plan of Action

As with any big decision, it is important to develop a plan of action well in advance of implementation. Some important items to consider when converting from paper to EHR include:
• Timeline of the transition
• The key staff involved with this transition and what their responsibilities are
• The best methods of converting information to the EHR for your practice
• Workflows post-implementation
• How historical patient information should be available for patient visits during and after the transition
• What to do with old paper files

Train Your Team

After you have a strategy in place, you should inform the rest of your team of the plan, timeline, and benefits that the new software will provide for your practice. When looking for an EHR provider, make sure that they offer training and resources to help your team learn the software. Provide thorough training for clinicians, administrative staff, and any other personnel who will use the new system often.

Work from the Schedule

When it comes time to convert your existing paper documentation to the software, do not scan patients in alphabetical order. Some patients may never come back to the office. Best practice is to work from the schedule, scanning patient charts ahead of upcoming appointments.

Adjust the Workflow

While it is important to have a well thought out plan, it is important to remember that you can deviate from the plan. You should adjust the workflow as needed to ensure a smoother transition. Be patient and flexible with your staff as they learn a new system with new workflows.

Eliminate Paper Records After Implementation

If you receive any paper documentation such as consults, labs, or referrals, do not file it in a paper chart and wait for patient to come in. Scan the entire chart so that all new paper goes into the process of electronic storage.

Work with Your Provider

When choosing your EHR software, be sure to ask about ways you can modify your software if necessary. When researching an EHR provider, be sure to inquire about how you can adjust the software to fit your needs and make sure you are not locked down to one configuration. For more on this topic, check out our blog post The Right EHR Software for Today Grows with You Tomorrow.

Interested in learning more about how an EHR software can help your practice ditch paper documentation? Contact us using the form below!

Upcoming Updates in Response to COVID-19

Upcoming Updates in Response to COVID-19

As we adapt to a socially distanced world, Criterions is working to help practices maintain a safe environment to treat patients. The days of patients sitting in a waiting room, passing around tablets or picking up pens and clipboards may now be a thing of the past.

How can practices gather the information they need from patients for effective medical treatment while contact is limited to the minimal amount necessary?

Criterions EHR has an available patient portal that allows patients to document information while at home. The capabilities of this portal are currently being expanded to cover more of the intake process and reduce a patient’s time in the office. To achieve these goals, Criterions is working on the following new function for patients to populate information at home:

Consent Forms

One hurdle many practices are facing is how to capture consent forms from the patient from home. Our new solution will allow practices to assign consent forms (HIPAA Waivers, Agreements to Pay, etc.) to the patient to be signed though the portal. Signed or declined forms will be filed in the patient’s documents.

Additional Initiatives

We are also working on a few other initiatives including:
- Scanning and uploading driver’s license/insurance
- Custom questionnaires for your patients
- Text messaging to check in

We would love feedback from our current customers on these initiatives. If you would like to participate in a survey to help us learn how to best implement these new functionalities to benefit your practice, please reach out to Mark Greenleaf at mark.greenleaf@criterions.com.

Any questions or concerns? Contact us below:

MIPS Monthly Checklist

MIPS Monthly Checklist

Use the checklist below to ensure you are staying on track for the best MIPS reporting possible. Be sure to review your MIPS numbers monthly. For more information, please review the MIPS criteria found here.

  • Check Promoting Interoperability - Ensure you are meeting measure thresholds.  For all measures, higher percentages are better.


  • Check Clinical Quality Measures MU3 - Most measures, with the exception of 122v7 and 156v7, seek the highest percentage of patients meeting the measure. Measures 122v7 and 156v7 seek the lowest percentage of patients.


  • Document Improvement Activities - If changes or work have been done to meet the criteria of an improvement activity, document the work in case of an audit.


  • Complete Security Risk Assessment (if not previously completed) - The Security Risk Assessment must be completed at least once during the reporting period. If the report has not been completed, begin documentation.

For any other questions regarding MIPS, contact us using the form below:

MIPS 2020 and Criterions

MIPS 2020 and Criterions

While there is much uncertainty today, not only in the medical world, but the world at large, we are preparing for the resumption of life post pandemic. As of now, MIPS reporting will still be required for 2020. While we do not know if the requirements will change due to the pandemic, we are going off of the assumption that the rules will be enacted as initially created, meaning practices must report on Quality Measures, Promoting Interoperability, and Improvement Activities in the beginning of 2021. Below is our MIPS 2020 and Criterions guide that will help you fulfill MIPS requirements using Criterions EHR.

If you have any questions, please complete the form below:

The Right EHR Software for Today Grows with You Tomorrow

The Right EHR Software for Today Grows with You Tomorrow

Perhaps the greatest hurdle to adopting new Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) technologies is the fear of being locked into a system that doesn’t serve your organization’s needs. The fear of investing resources, effort and time, only to find that a solution doesn’t work as planned prevents many organizations from updating their systems for too long. Additionally, practices are often worried about the loss of productivity when transitioning to a new software due to the difficulty of learning the nuances of a new system.

Over the past 30 years, Criterions has worked to design products that grow with your practice and can be retailored over time to meet evolving needs. The Criterions EHR software system helps providers configure a solution that works for them based on the current needs of their practices.

Do you find yourself faced with any of the following concerns?

  • I want to keep handwriting parts of a note, but have my staff enter other parts
  • I want to switch from dictation to templates
  • I am planning to expand services that require new specialties that work in different ways
  • I want a scribe to enter information so I can interact with the patient

Criterions EHR software can create solutions to all these concerns and more. By configuring the system per user, we allow individuals to interact with the software in different ways. Staff can log in to enter histories and vitals through data templates, while a provider can incorporate handwriting capture throughout components of a patient’s visit, including handwriting on a digital copy of an existing paper form. Switching from one method to another can be done in phases, using multiple options of dictation, typing, handwriting and templates within one visit. The flexibility in documentation isn’t limited to users but can also vary from patient to patient.

Unlike other systems, our software does not lock you into one workflow. You will never be “stuck” into one configuration of the EHR software. We understand that the needs of your practice today may change tomorrow, and our software is ready to change with you.

Interested in learning more about our EHR software? Contact the Criterions team to schedule your free, custom demo today:

Request a Demo!