10 Steps to Complete A Successful EHR Implementation
The Electronic Health Record is a staple in nearly every medical practice and hospital ...
When your practice starts its search for new Health Practice Technology, it can be overwhelming. The only thing you can be sure of is what has not been working for your practice up to this point. Your current Electronic Health Record may have issues including workflow inefficiencies, out of date technology, an interface that is difficult to access, or its inability to move and grow with your practice.
It can be difficult to discern which software solution will help your practice get on the right track without taking too much time out of your regular work structure to implement. It can also be hard to identify a software vendor that has your best interest in mind, understands and adapts to the unique workflow of your practice, or even is available to answer questions when you need them. Keep reading to learn how to identify a quality electronic health record solution and partner as well as have a successful EHR implementation.
Path to a Successful EHR Implementation:
1) Choose a Partner, Not A Product
Going into their search for the perfect EHR, a provider might have a list of what would form the perfect software. What they do not often take into account is the quality of the vendor they are choosing to partner with. A vendor can produce great technology, but if they are not available to teach you how to use it, then it will not help your practice. As the provider, you should look for the best support team to help your practice achieve the best possible outcomes. A quality partner will offer accessible, U.S. based customer support that is available to answer your questions as they come up. Not only this, but they will offer on-site help during the EHR implementation process, enabling your team to fully understand the new technology. Some vendors will leave you on your own during EHR implementation, making the process that much more difficult.
2) Conduct a Workflow Analysis
Having a successful EHR implementation involves more than just learning how to use a technology or downloading new software. In order to fully prepare your team to have a successful EHR implementation, providers should conduct a workflow analysis. This will help you understand the process of your practice and help to eliminate time-consuming work as well as excess/duplicate documentation. Once the areas of inefficiencies are identified, then you and your software partner can work to tailor your software to improve those areas as well as your EHR implementation.
3) Engage Your Team
With the right software, EHR implementation will affect the workflow of each of your team members. Whether it be a member of your financial team, clinical team, or operational team, the workflow they have grown accustomed to using will change. A quality EHR will integrate with your other practice technology to ensure a simpler workflow for everyone involved, but it will take time for everyone to adjust. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes time for EHR implementation of their workflow, reporting, and forms with a new system. One way to accomplish this is to ask your team what is most important to them in a software and work with your software partner to accomplish those goals.
4) Embrace Change
EHR implementation is taxing on every member of your team. For many, change is difficult even when the transition is a smooth as possible. Even if it will benefit your practice overall, your staff will most likely struggle to adopt a new process without expressing grief or frustration. For this reason, you must work with your entire team throughout the EHR implementation to make sure everyone is on the same page. Do so by being open to hearing those frustrations and offer them encouragement whenever possible. This is where your software partner can make or break the transition. Your software partner should be working hand-in-hand with your staff so that they can ask questions and better understand the tool they are being asked to use. This will improve your EHR implementation by ensuring a positive atmosphere for learning and growth among your team.
5) Train and Retrain!
Quality and in-depth training is the key to any successful EHR implementation. Without it, your team will lose confidence in their ability to do their job well, they will suffer to understand and accomplish their workflow, and the quality and efficiency of their work will decline. As was mentioned before, your software vendor should offer on-site help throughout your EHR implementation as well as accessible US-based customer support. Together, you can identify each staff member’s roles/workflows to ensure they have the support and knowledge they need in order to be successful.
To learn more about how your team can find the right software and ensure a successful EHR implementation, click here.