Many of you, like myself, probably filled out a March Madness bracket in hopes of winning your office pool. While there can only be one lucky winner in your office who takes home that $100 cash prize, we've decided to step back and think about how March Madness can teach you lessons about searching for and implementing the right EHR software into your practice. So while you may have lost a few bucks by not winning the bracket challenge, let's see if we can save your practice a few bucks when it comes to finding the right EHR system.
Lessons You Can Learn from March Madness When Implementing Your EHR Software
Look to the Experts
While you think you might know everything that there is to know about college basketball, chances are you don't. So you're probably going to look for a little help from your friends at CBS Sports and ESPN to help you through your bracket.
And, just like college basketball, if you're new to the world of EHRs you probably don't have all of the answers either. So trust the experts. Take your time when researching all of the features and benefits of different systems. And once you've heard it all from each vendor, ask your peers. A lot of them have been using EHRs for a while, and they'll probably have some good insight for you to consider!
Understand the Strengths & Weaknesses of Your Team
Sucessful college basketball teams know the strengths and weaknesses of their teammates, and they play the game to highlight everyone's strengths. You're not going to make it to the final four riding on one player alone, it's a team sport.
So when you're searching for a new system make sure that your staff is involved in the process. Is everyone in your office really tech savvy? Or, does technology scare them? Are they going to adapt quickly to the change? Getting everyone on board and excited about the update from the start is going to be crucial during the implementation and training stage of purchasing a new EHR.
Take it One Day at a Time
In the tournament, it's important for each team to take every game one day at a time, and not look past any of their opponents. This is where the upsets happen (see Mercer beating Duke this year in the first round). Every game is a new opportunity for both teams.
When it comes to adopting a new EHR in your practice, it's important to take each step of the implementation and training process one day at a time. Change can be hard. So make sure that when you're looking for a system that you get a good feel for how the vendor will be there to help you through the process and what type of training will be available for you and your staff. A good training program could go a long way in making your life easier!
Watch the Clock
This is an obvious one in basketball. The clock is a very important part of the game, especially when a game comes down to the wire.
And guess what? When it comes to your EHR system, if you're planning to participate in Meaningful Use - you better keep your eye on the clock too! There are deadlines to participate in Meaningful Use if you want to receive incentive payments. For example, if you haven't attested to Stage 1 by 2015, you're going to start seeing penalties. So the clock really is running out to purchase an EHR, get it implemented, and get your 90 day reporting period under your belt by the end of the year. So if Meaningful Use is an important part of purchasing your EHR system - keep your eye on the clock!
Don't Forget to Celebrate Your Successes
Only one team gets to celebrate at the end of the season in college basketball, and even if it's not your team, you can't help but feel a little happy for the winner. All of the coaches and athletes deserve a celebration at the end of a long season.
And when it's all said and done, and you've purchased and fully implemented and learned everything there is to know about your new system - celebrate! Adjusting to a new software that impacts all aspects of your practice is going to take some patience for you and your staff, so don't forget to reward everyone for their hard work! In the long run, your new system is going to increase the efficiency of your workflow and save you time and money in places you didn't even expect!
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