The implementation of electronic health records (EHR) is often met with resistance. Not so much from a lack of acceptance, but rather from a lack of training and knowledge. Healthcare employees tend to find themselves excited to reap the benefits of using EHRs, however, many of them are unfamiliar with the technological side of operating a medical office.
Fortunately, converting to an EHR system doesn’t have to be dreaded, nor does it have to be viewed as a costly expense. When implemented and used correctly, it can be a medical office’s most valuable asset.
But here’s the cold, hard truth – a survey conducted found a mind-boggling 62% of its respondents had switched from one EHR to another at least once during their career. And while half of the respondents stated the switch to a new system came about as a result of switching occupational positions, the other half revealed it was a deficit in their previous system that caused them to implement a new one.
As you can see, it’s not uncommon for physicians to be extremely displeased with their current EHRs. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to choose systems carefully and to have adequate support and help when installing the new one. For now, let’s take a closer look at best practices for introducing an EHR system and how an implementation specialist can be of help.
Pinpoint Employee Technological Skills
The first step an EHR implementation specialist will take when introducing a new system is pinpointing employee technological skills. By knowing which workers need help and which ones don’t, it becomes simple to focus training toward the workers who will benefit the most. And many times, some of the existing workforce can actually provide the training the other workers are in need of; this reduces training expenses.
Ideally, your entire office staff should be knowledgeable in knowing how to scan documents, upload paperwork, scanning and printing insurance information, and sharing/emailing/faxing documents. Your employees should be trained in these areas several weeks before the new EHR system is put into place; this reduces the need for on-the-spot training and lessens the stress load once the system is actually implemented.
Provide Ongoing Training
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.
Three of the top EHR challenges that medical facilities tend to face are:
- The development of interoperability
- Usability (lack of training)
- Quality reporting (failure to achieve meaningful use)
Access Vendor-Provided Resources
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.
Create Super Users
It is also with the help of an EHR implementation specialist you can have super users created for you. These are going to be your go-to employees when an issue arises with the EHR system. If they can’t help you resolve the problem, then you can turn to the help of an external source. Your super users are going to know the EHR system from all angles, and not only will they have extensive knowledge, but they are also going to exhibit superior interpersonal skills; this gives them the ability to share their knowledge with others and help provide EHR training to new employees during the onboarding process.
Host Feedback Sessions
An EHR implementation specialist will be able to host feedback sessions throughout the entire process of putting the new EHR system into place, which is vital to the overall success of the system. If your workers are unhappy and feel they don’t know how to properly use the system, this can lead to losses in productivity, reduced quality care, and even a reduction in sales and collection rates. Most importantly, it can hinder care coordination and push patient-centered care to the backburner. You must have an idea of what your workers need help with regarding the EHR system and the only way to do this is by hosting feedback sessions.
All of the tips mentioned above are great starting points for making sure your EHR implementation is a success.
Interested in implementing the first EHR system developed to meet the unique needs of busy Orthopaedic practices? Exscribe was developed by Orthopaedists for Orthopaedics. Click here to learn more today.