Another best practice established within the EHR implementation industry is ongoing training. Any reputable implementation specialist will agree training needs to begin several weeks, if not months, in advance and it will likely need to last six to 12 months after the implementation. Not only does ongoing training give your staff an adequate amount of time to practice what they have learned, but it also gives the implementation specialist enough time to identify problematic areas of concern and address them thoroughly before the system is put in place.
The EHR implementation specialist will have a thorough understanding of anything and everything to do with the specific EHR system you are putting in place.
With such vast knowledge of the system, this specialist can help you access vendor-provided resources, such as step-by-step instructions, videos, webinars, podcasts, and manuals for accessing all of the unique features your system offers. It is also with the help of an EHR implementation specialist you can have super users created for you.
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These are going to be your go-to employees when an issue arises with the EHR system. Most importantly, it can hinder care coordination and push patient-centered care to the backburner. Siegel recommended choosing less-robust solutions for practices with a smaller staff and going with on-site training for large practices or hospitals.
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Even with the best planning, problems can arise. EHR software is complex and far-reaching, so be prepared to engage in troubleshooting and risk mitigation.
As Siegel puts it, "The implementation process as a core principle involves stopping revenue through one channel and restarting it through another. Naturally, this is a delicate and risky thing to do.
Understanding Features & Functions of an EHR -- Health IT Guides
Here are a few suggestions to protect yourself against some of the potential issues surrounding implementation. Choose a system with a friendly user interface: Any EHR system can either streamline or hinder operations in your medical practice. To ensure the new system has the desired effect, make sure the user interface of whichever system you choose is intuitive and simple to learn. This will help make the transition easier for your staff and increase the effectiveness of your system, all without depressing productivity.
Include your staff in the decision-making process: The best way to determine how prepared your staff is to adapt to the new system is by including them in the decision-making process. Do they find certain interfaces friendlier than others? What does their preferred workflow look like?
What kind of training would they find most helpful? These questions can help you choose a system with your staff in mind and will make adoption of the new system much easier for them in the end. Involving each of the different departments in your practice during the decision-making process provides invaluable insight when making a final choice.
Products like appointment-reminder systems and interfaces with lab and imaging systems are critical to practice efficiency and shouldn't be overlooked during the conversion process. Honestly assess your practice before implementation begins: Providing an honest and accurate assessment of your medical practice's current finances, workflow and capabilities is a major part of devising a successful implementation.
You should select an EHR based on the needs of your practice. Begin to ask yourself if the HER will accomplish everything you need to keep your practice functioning successfully. Implementing an EHR does come with a financial cost and your practice should determine a budget that works for your business. These Medicare and Medicaid programs offer financial incentives to eligible providers for using EHRs to achieve goals within their practice.
Other benefits can range from reducing staff and office supply expenses to reducing the amount of time your staff spends dealing with paperwork on a daily basis. Your entire management team should be on the same page when taking on a task of this nature.
Lessons Learned and Advice Drawn from EHR Case Studies
Consider this a project that can be broken into smaller projects to ease the effects of transitioning. You can also begin with a small mini transition and assign an individual or team to be in charge of that process. Set a timeframe in which that can happen and once the process is proven, the full implementation can take place. Keep in mind that your practice will continue to function and assist patients during this process. Creating a plan of action to minimize confusion and delays can help alleviate the strain on your day to day operations.
How to overcome 10 top EHR implementation challenges
A simple plan of action might look something like this:. The only way to truly know if the newly implemented EHR is working for your practice is to compare your practice to itself. Doing this will help you review areas that need adjustment in both user controlled platforms or tech-specific sections such as EHR settings.