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EHR Implementation: A Guide to Successfully Converting Your System

Posted by Hannah Hutyra on Jul 8, 2013 9:30:00 AM

Uprise has welcomed active readers and commenters on our blog, to make guest posts. Stacey Mayer is an eyecare blogger and an optician at Visioniare Eyecare and wrote about her experiences converting to a new eyecare EMR system. We bring her experience and tips to practices who are either going through or planning to go through a conversion.

A Few Guidelines to Follow for EHR Implementation When Converting to a System in Your Eyecare Practice

After choosing to use electronic health records, it will soon affect the whole office. All of your employees have surely been frustrated when looking all over the office for a patient’s folder. So switching to an EMR system should be an exciting time, but any change for an office can be tricky.

EHR SoftwarePrepare Your Employees Early for New EHR Implementation

When making a change, like converting to an EMR system, success is going to depend on how prepared and enabled your staff already is. Before the EMR system is in place, it will take a good amount of time to make the switch. You probably have some employees who are more computer literate, and others who aren'’t as comfortable with new technology. This type of conversion gives you the chance to develop both of these types of people into all-stars.

Choose a Team Leader

Choosing a team leader gives everyone in the office someone to come to with questions. This person (or persons) will become an early advocate of the software and will be a trusted source for answers. Switching to new software will make everyone feel like, “newbies.” Making changes is hard and having someone to guide your employees will ease the switch. Any change that affects the whole office will require substantial time, effort, and patience.

Teach Everyone How To Use the EMR Software Early

EMR vendors have excellent teaching tools to help everyone learn how to use the new software. These teaching tools can be used to make your employees comfortable with the new software before it’'s set in place.

  1. Approach your new EMR in segments. Instead of seeing the conversion as an elephant stomping into the office, let everyone know you'll be taking just one bite of learning at a time.
  2. Dedicate some time for learning. Plan for team time together without any patients, if possible, even if it's just a few days.
  3. Encourage questions early. It should go without saying, that every staff member should be allowed to ask questions of the trainer, or fellow team members, anytime. Questions are your friend.
  4. Let everyone understand how the work flow will change for each member of the team. As they see how it works for their coworkers, their own confidence will grow. Support their curiosity.
  5. Meet together often. After the last patient of the day is gone, take the time to encourage where needed, and adjust expectations along the way. Take time to praise and encourage each team member for their progress and patience; this is when the attitude for success is nurtured. 
  6. Review and reward each milestone of the process. Discuss what they've learned after each learning module is accomplished; give small gift cards for great remarks, or helpful insights along the way. Ask for comparisons and observations of the new abilities of the software, versus what they've used in the past. Keep your team going!

Eyecare professionals are sharing an abundant amount of eye health information and dispensing more vision care services. Putting an EMR system in place at your office will better serve your patients more effectively.

What advice can you provide for our readers about converting to an new EMR software?

Similar to the VisionWeb blog, the Uprise blog would like to welcome guest bloggers, like Stacey, to contribute to our blog! We’'d like to hear from anyone who would like share their experiences or provide tips for our readers. We are open to a wide range of topics, from using an EMR/EHR system to fun ideas at your eyecare practice. Feel free to comment below and we’'ll reach out to you.

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Topics: Tips for ECPs, EHR Software

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