A Detailed Roadmap
In healthcare IT since 2005, ScienceSoft develops custom advanced EHR systems for medical software product startups and healthcare providers.
EHR Implementation in a Nutshell
EHR implementation is a process focused on creating a reliable, convenient, and highly secure system for health records management and seamlessly integrating it into the workflows of target healthcare organizations. EHR software helps coordinate patient care, improves medical staff productivity, and stores comprehensive health and billing data.
With a team of seasoned healthcare IT experts, ScienceSoft delivers secure and reliable software for PHI storage and patient billing. It usually takes from 2–4 months to develop an MVP of an EHR system. The costs of the full-fledged EHR range from $400,000 to $2,000,000+ and may vary based on the project specifics, target use cases, and software complexity.
EHR Implementation Plan
No EHR implementation process is the same — the exact steps differ depending on medical specialty, functionality scope, tech stack, development model, and more. Below, ScienceSoft’s experts share the general approach we follow in our projects.
- Signing a Business Associate Agreement with the consulting or development partner that will receive access to PHI (for covered entities under HIPAA).
- For software product companies: Researching the EHR market, identifying the competitors, target customers, and features in demand, creating an EHR concept and marketing strategy.
- For healthcare organizations: Analyzing the organization’s business needs and clinical workflows, creating an EHR concept, designing and evaluating EHR implementation strategies.
- Gathering EHR compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR, ONC, CMS, FDA, MDR, SAMHSA, and local regulations).
- Creating a business case with TCO and ROI.
Requirements engineering, architecture & integrations design
- Designing and prioritizing software features to be implemented (including advanced and field-specific EHR functionality).
- Collecting functional and non-functional EHR requirements to create a software requirements specification (SRS).
- Designing an EHR architecture and integrations.
- Selecting an optimal tech stack.
- Assessing the EHR usage and implementation risks and designing risk mitigation plans.
EHR project planning
- Creating a project plan with timeframes, key milestones, KPIs, and budget.
- Deciding on a project management approach (e.g., Scrum, Kanban).
- Assessing the EHR development risks and creating a mitigation plan.
- Planning the ONC certification process (US-specific) or certification according to the requirements of local authorities.
- Hiring or outsourcing the needed IT resources.
- Designing a sample plan for implementing an EHR system in a hospital (for software products) or a tailored plan with full implementation support (for custom healthcare solutions).
UX and UI design
- Conducting UX research to create user scenarios covering different roles within the target healthcare organization.
- Building UX wireframes and conducting UX testing.
- Creating UI prototypes based on the EHR wireframes.
Iterative development and testing
- Developing software front end, back end, and APIs for EHR integration.
- Integrating EHR with smart medical devices or wearables (if needed).
- Implementing the necessary security mechanisms (e.g., data encryption, MFA).
- Conducting end-to-end EHR testing, including functional, performance, security and compliance, compatibility, and accessibility testing.
- Revising the software usage risks and documentation, updating and reflecting changes introduced during the iterative project development.
- Conducting a HIPAA compliance risk assessment, GDPR compliance audit, or audit to verify compliance with other local data privacy regulations.
- US-specific: Submitting the EHR to ONC-Authorized Testing Laboratory (ONC-ATL).
- For SaMD modules of the EHR: initiating premarket submission according to the FDA 510(k) program (US), a Notified Body designated under MDR/IVDR (EU), or other authority according to local regulations.
- Planning role-based user training.
EHR launch and implementation
- For software products: market launch, EHR deployment to the cloud environment.
- For healthcare organizations: Mapping the data and migrating it from the previous records storage of a healthcare organization.
- User training.
I recommend splitting EHR users into two waves to ease the software adoption process within your organization. The first adopters will help you identify any challenging functionality and improve the training materials to avoid dealing with tons of similar questions later.
User support, EHR maintenance, and evolution
- Setting up a help desk to handle incoming requests from medical and administrative staff (for healthcare organizations) and software customers (for EHR software products).
- Establishing maintenance procedures to timely fix defects, implement security patches, resolve incidents, and facilitate smooth EHR operation.
- Monitoring user satisfaction and EHR adoption to address any post-implementation issues (business and technical).
- Conducting EHR audits to ensure continuous compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Improving EHR software functionality, UI, and UX based on user feedback.
As a physician, I urge you to collect continuous feedback on EHR implementation, whether you are an EHR product owner or a hospital IT manager dealing with a custom solution. Physicians, nurses, and admins can offer a unique perspective on software functionality and efficiency and help you enhance the final solution.
Ready to Put the Plan into Action?
ScienceSoft brings 34 years of IT experience to help you turn your ideas into financially feasible and efficient EHR software.
Meet ScienceSoft, a Committed Software Development Partner
We worked with ScienceSoft on the refactoring and modernization of our telehealth web portal and a cross-platform patient application. We are thankful for the meticulous and value-driven approach of ScienceSoft’s team. They created comprehensive project documentation, feature lists, and worked out thorough recommendations to help us improve the stability and performance of our solution.
Prof. Dr. Department of Biomedical Science
During our cooperation, ScienceSoft proved to have vast expertise in the Healthcare and Life Science industries related to the development of desktop software connected to laboratory equipment, a mobile application, and a data analytics platform. They bring top-quality talents and deep knowledge of IT technologies and approaches in accordance with ISO 13485 and IEC 62304 standards.
President & CEO
bioAffinity Technologies hired ScienceSoft to help in the development of its automated data analysis software for detection of lung cancer using flow cytometry. Our project required a large amount of industry specific methodology and algorithms to be implemented into our new software connected to EHR/LIS systems, which the team handled well. They are reliable, thorough, smart, available, extremely good communicators and very friendly.
Redesign of a Custom EHR Application for a US Chiropractic Care Provider
After an in-depth quality assessment and code review, ScienceSoft helped a US chiropractic care provider tackle severe vulnerabilities in its legacy custom EHR by completely redesigning the existing solution.
Development of an EHR Mobile Version for a US Healthcare Provider
ScienceSoft delivered an iOS mobile app to help the Customer’s medical staff to use their custom-built EHR system on the go. To make the daily routine of healthcare professionals easier, the app allows logging time, capturing images, scanning documents, and uploading files to the EHR.
Development of a Health Monitoring Module for Assisted Living Software
ScienceSoft designed and implemented a health monitoring module for efficient tracking of patients’ vitals and test results. The solution aggregated the health data, identified abnormal parameters using healthcare data analytics, and sent automated alerts to the medical staff.
Team Augmentation for an HIE Platform Provider
After partnering with ScienceSoft, the Customer delivered secure data de-identification and sharing software to accompany the core product for patient health information exchange between the medical care providers.
Must-Have IT Talents for Implementing EHR
Depending on the needs of each customer, ScienceSoft assembles a tailored project team to ensure efficient EHR implementation processes and world-class software quality.
Plans the EHR implementation project, assigns tasks to the team, monitors task completion, project budget, and project health based on KPIs; communicates with the stakeholders.
Healthcare IT consultant
Elicits, prioritizes, and documents the requirements; creates a solid EHR concept, feature list, strategy, and process to implement the EHR into the clinical workflows; defines the required integrations.
Chooses the optimal technological stack, designs EHR architecture and APIs for EHR integration according to regulatory requirements.
Regulatory compliance expert
Defines the applicable regulations, ensures EHR compliance with the relevant requirements, and helps create documentation for EHR certification, HIPAA audit, etc.
Conducts UX research to create user scenarios; plans UX for medical and administrative staff focusing on usability and accessibility; creates UX prototypes.
Creates the “look and feel” of an EHR solution and turns UX prototypes into a sleek interface design.
Creates the business logic and develops the server side of an EHR, implements API for EHR integration.
Develops the user side of the EHR.
Sets up and maintains EHR development infrastructure, helps automate the deployment using CI/CD pipeline, monitors the EHR performance, availability, etc.
Designs and applies EHR testing strategies, creates test cases, conducts manual and automated testing, and provides test reports.
Facilitates secure architecture design, ensures secure coding practices, conducts vulnerability assessment and penetration testing of the EHR.
Creates data sets and machine learning models; and trains the latter to achieve the desired accuracy.
*for EHR projects leveraging AI/ML (incl. medical image analysis).
Choose a Sourcing Model for Your EHR Project
- Full control over the whole EHR implementation project.
- All project planning, coding, and QA efforts are on your side.
- Higher costs due to the need to hire and onboard full-time IT resources.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you need help planning your EHR implementation project or picking the right talents.
- Quick access to talents qualified in EHR implementation.
- Easy team scaling up/down.
- High requirements for your in-house project management competencies.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you need IT experts well-versed in EHR implementation to augment your team.
How Much Does It Cost to Implement an EHR?
ScienceSoft’s healthcare IT consultants determine the cost of each EHR implementation project individually. Generally, they take into account the following key factors:
- The scope and the complexity of EHR functionality, including medical specialty features and advanced capabilities like RPM, AI chatbots, natural language processing, and blockchain-based records storage.
- The data volume to be migrated, collected, stored, and processed by the EHR.
- The number and complexity of integrations (including legacy software, medical devices, third-party services).
- The chosen technology stack.
- EHR accessibility requirements.
- Compliance-associated costs (e.g., related to ONC’s Health IT Certification Program).
- The sourcing model and team composition.
- Infrastructure, maintenance, and support costs.
In ScienceSoft’s experience, the costs of custom EHR implementation can range from $400,000 to over $2,000,000 and largely depend on the project specifics and target use cases.
Looking for a precise EHR cost estimation?
Mature and committed to software excellence, ScienceSoft is an IT consulting and software development company with 34 years in IT. ScienceSoft has completed 100+ successful healthcare IT projects and is ready to implement state-of-the-art EHR software according to HIPAA, GDPR, ONC, MACRA, MIPS regulations.