D'Anna Siegle, Author at Vim



In the fast-paced world of healthcare, Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems have become indispensable for managing patient health records, streamlining workflows, and enhancing overall healthcare delivery for health care organizations. However, as technology advances, older EHR systems, commonly known as legacy systems, can become outdated and hinder the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare organizations often leading to clinician burnout. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices for optimizing legacy EHR systems, enabling healthcare providers to enhance existing point-of-care workflows and improve healthcare delivery and healthcare outcomes, enhance patient satisfaction, and achieve seamless system interoperability. Read below to learn more about our EHR optimization strategies that health care leaders are implementing today as part of their overall value-based healthcare strategies.

What is a Legacy EHR System?

A legacy EHR system, in this case, refers to an often older and sometimes outdated electronic health record system that health care professionals rely on. Often they are outdated because they don’t meet all the needs and requirements imposed on health care providers as the clinical landscape changes and alternative payment and business models such as value-based care are operationalized. These systems may have served well in the past, but they pose significant challenges to healthcare providers as technology and the healthcare industry evolve, and patient care requirements change. Legacy systems may lack modern features, impede interoperability with other software, and can become vulnerable to security risks – ultimately leading to physician burnout. You may be wondering how to improve EHR systems. It is wise to consider an EHR strategy that helps you optimize the system you have.

The Need for Optimizing Legacy EHR Systems

The questions we often hear as an EHR-integration technology provider is just how to improve electronic health records and what do you recommend as an overall EHR strategy – especially in light of the shift to value-based healthcare. Optimizing legacy EHR systems has become crucial for healthcare organizations seeking to provide high-quality patient care while staying competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. Failure to conduct EHR Optimization of your legacy systems can lead to inefficiencies, data inaccuracies, and dissatisfied patients and providers, negatively impacting the overall healthcare experience. As part of EHR optimization strategies you implement, healthcare providers can unlock numerous benefits, such as improved patient outcomes, reduced administrative burden, enhanced data security, and increased staff productivity.

Assessing Your Current EHR System

Before embarking on an EHR optimization journey, conducting a comprehensive assessment of your current EHR system is essential. Ask the question – how have ehrs affect the way healthcare is provided? This assessment should encompass the evaluation of system functionality, user feedback, performance metrics, security measures, and interoperability capabilities to achieve robust EHR optimization strategies. It should also take into account how EHR systems improve the quality of care for patients and analyze if your EHR system has helped your organization achieve improved patient care. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your legacy EHR system will provide valuable insights into what needs improvement and how to strategize for the future – especially when accelerating or transitioning to value-based healthcare. 

Strategies for Optimizing Legacy EHR Systems

1. Software Updates and Upgrades: Work with the vendor of the EHR system to identify and apply the latest updates and upgrades. This ensures your system remains compatible with new healthcare standards, maintains data security, and improves overall performance.

2. Interoperability Enhancements: Explore options to integrate your legacy EHR system with other healthcare software applications, such as laboratory systems, billing systems, and patient portals in order to answer the question of how to improve EHR capabilities and work on improving EHR user experience. Interoperability fosters seamless data exchange, reducing redundancy and enhancing collaboration among healthcare providers in addition to contributing to accurate documentation. 

Pro Tip: Too many integrations or time-intensive (and not to mention expensive integrations) can negatively impact your organization’s IT teams as well as hurt clinician productivity. Be cognizant of creating band-aid solutions vs. finding modern integration solutions that offer direct connections between clinical workflows for payers, data partners, and providers.

3. User Training and Support: Invest in comprehensive training for the staff across the clinical practices in your network to ensure they can make the most of the optimized EHR system. A well-trained workforce can navigate the system more efficiently, improving workflows and enhancing patient care.

Pro Tip: Lean on your vendors and technology sponsors to help you create a comprehensive training plan that incorporates best practices and shared learnings. And if you are a health plan or risk-bearing entity building a technology stack for providers, be sure that everyone understands the value of the technology and is ready for the transition with a solid change management plan.

4. Data Analytics and Reporting: Leverage data analytics tools within your EHR system to gain valuable insights into patient outcomes, care quality, and operational efficiency. Data-driven decision-making enhances the overall performance of your healthcare organization.

5. Security Upgrades: Strengthen the security measures of your legacy EHR system to protect sensitive patient information from data breaches and cyberattacks. Regular security assessments and updates are essential to maintain compliance with healthcare regulations.

The Impact of Optimized Legacy EHR Systems on Healthcare Delivery

An optimized legacy EHR system can revolutionize healthcare delivery in several ways:

Streamlined Workflows: Improved EHR systems lead to smoother workflows, reducing administrative burdens and allowing healthcare providers to focus more on patient care.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve evaluated your EHR system or the EHRs across your provider network, and the above tactics have been applied where applicable, consider a solution like Vim Connect, a point-of-care connection platform that connects data to enhanced workflows directly in provider EHRs.

Enhanced Patient Satisfaction: With faster access to accurate patient information, healthcare professionals can provide personalized and efficient care, leading to higher patient satisfaction levels. A goal of all health care leaders. 

Improved Clinical Decision-Making: Optimized EHR systems facilitate data-driven decision-making, empowering healthcare providers with real-time insights for more informed clinical decisions. Additionally, it can contribute to less medical errors. 

Increased Interoperability: Seamless data exchange between different healthcare systems and providers enhances care coordination, leading to better patient outcomes and a streamlined patient journey. This is especially critical in primary health care clinical settings. 

Reduced Costs: Efficiency gains, reduced redundancies, and improved resource allocation contribute to cost savings for healthcare organizations.


Optimizing legacy EHR systems is crucial for healthcare organizations looking to provide top-notch patient care, enhance operational efficiency, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. By assessing your current EHR system and systems across your network, strategizing for EHR optimization, and leveraging the benefits of modern technology, you can achieve improved healthcare delivery, enhanced patient satisfaction, and seamless interoperability across your network. And remember, not all EHR upgrades are created equal. A point of care technology that can connect data to enhanced workflows directly in provider EHRs is key to ensuring performance at scale.

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Unravel the debate of Fee-for-Service vs Value-Based Care in healthcare. Discover insights, benefits, drawbacks, and make an informed choice.

Understanding Healthcare Models: Fee-for-Service vs. Value-Based Care

In today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape, it’s crucial to understand the differences between Fee-for-Service (FFS) and Value-Based Care (VBC). Healthcare professionals are increasingly tasked to lower costs while increasing efficiency and the quality of care delivered to patients. To keep up with these demands, many practices – especially primary care practices – are shifting to the alternative payment model of value-based care that rewards quality over quantity. Despite the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) emphasizing alternative payment models and this operational model over the past two decades based on its confidence in its ability to lower healthcare costs and improve quality of care, the debate over the merits of these two models continue today among healthcare professionals, policymakers, and patients alike.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In the last decade, the CMS Innovation Center has developed and implemented more than  50 value-based care models across  seven categories of initiatives that have been  rolled out in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Between  2020 and 2022, more than 300,000 providers and plans and more than 41 million individuals with public and private health insurance participated in CMS Innovation Center initiatives.” As participation in value-based healthcare grows, this blog offers an opportunity to explore the intricacies of FFS and VBC, comparing their advantages, disadvantages, and overall impact on patients and providers. Read on to see the comparison of fee-for-service vs value-based care.

What is Fee-for-Service (FFS)?

Fee-for-Service is a traditional payment model in healthcare where providers are reimbursed for every service or procedure rendered to patients. In this model, healthcare costs are based on the quantity of services rather than the quality or outcomes. While FFS offers flexibility and immediate payment, it has been criticized for incentivizing over-utilization and driving up healthcare costs.

What is Value Based Care (VBC)?

Value-Based Care is a contemporary approach that focuses on the quality and outcomes of healthcare services rather than just the number of procedures performed. In a value-based model, providers are incentivized to deliver effective, coordinated care that improves patient outcomes and reduces overall healthcare costs. This value-based system or model often involves shared risk and shared savings (e.g. risk-sharing agreements) between payers aka private insurers and providers, aligning incentives for better care.

Comparing Fee-for-Service and Value-Based Care

Advantages of Fee-for-Service

Disadvantages of Fee-for-Service

Advantages of Value Based Care

Disadvantages of Value Based Care

Impact of Fee-for-Service and Value-Based Care on Patients

Both FFS and VBC models have specific implications for patient care:

Impact of Fee-for-Service and Value-Based Care on Providers

Both FFS and VBC models have specific implications for healthcare providers:

How Does Payment Structure Differ in FFS and VBC?

In a fee-for-service model, providers are reimbursed for each service rendered to patients (i.e. a reimbursement model). This can be on a fee schedule or through negotiated rates with payers. In value-based care, payment structures can vary but often include shared savings, bundled payments, or capitated payments. These payment models aim to align incentives between payers and providers to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care. 

Is Value-Based Care the Future of Healthcare?

The healthcare landscape is gradually shifting towards value-based care as the cost of healthcare skyrockets. As the focus shifts to quality care including patient outcomes, cost containment, and care coordination increases, many health care providers and stakeholders are embracing this model. However, the transition from fee-for-service vs value-based care is complex and requires careful planning, collaboration, and investment in data infrastructure and technology.

Conclusion: Fee-for-Service vs Value-Based Care – What’s Best for You?

The choice between fee-for-service and value-based care ultimately depends on various factors, including individual practice preferences, patient population, and organizational resources. While fee-for-service offers flexibility and immediate payment, value-based care prioritizes quality, outcomes, and cost reduction for overall higher-quality care. Healthcare organizations must carefully evaluate their goals, patient needs, and available resources to make an informed choice that aligns with their long-term vision.

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