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The 4 E's of EHR Implementation and Managing Change

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Jan 5, 2015 10:00:00 AM
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So the time has come to tackle the beast and implement a new EHR software in your practice. Your staff might be grumbling and growling about the potential affects if could have on their daily tasks, but getting all of your team on board with the change is an important step of the implementation process. So that's where we are starting today.

The 4 E's are here to help you come up with a project plan for managing the change in your practice. If you establish, explain, engage, and execute you'll be well on your way to a more successful EHR implementation in your practice.

Successfully Manage EHR Implementation in Your Practice with These 4 Steps

EHR ImplementationEstablish a Foundation

First things first, you're going to need a team leader. Depending on the size of your pracitce you might even need more than one. Your leader should be someone who touches all aspects of your practice and is able to keep the implementation process moving forward by assigning tasks and scheduling meetings to different members of your staff. Your leader should also be the point of communication between your team and your EHR vendor.

From the start you should have a clear plan of attack for your implementation process. There is no cookie cutter plan that will work for every practice. So discuss with your vendor your needs and develop a strategy most suited for your practice.

Explain Why

There's a good chance that at least one of your staff members is going to be resistant to the change to new EHR. Now is the time to get them on board with the idea. You don't want your team just going through the motions, they need to be invested and excited about the changes to come in order for it to be a success. Include them in the process of purchasing new software. That way, you'll be tuned in on their needs and how a new system will impact their daily workflow.

Make sure your staff knows specifically how the new system is going to make their lives easier. Once they know that there is something in it for them, they are likely to be less resistant to the changes ahead. For example, learning that the new software comes with built in reminders and recall could get your front office staff really excited that they will be making less daily phone calls.

Engage Your Staff

Your EHR vendor is going to have training resources to help your staff learn and adjust to using the new system. Don't blow this off. Set up a daily schedule that allows your staff to have time dedicated to training. We know you don't want training to get in the way of seeing patients, and that's why it's important to have a pre-designed training timeline and plan.

During the training period, keep open lines of communication among your staff. A good idea could be to hold a weekly meeting to go over any roadblocks and to make sure that the entire team is staying on track. And remember, your EHR vendor wants you to be successful, so don't hestitate to reach out for education of the resources provided by Upsire. 

Execute the Switch

Now that you're all done with training it's time to take your new software into the real world. When the time comes, you don't have to dive in head first either. It might be best for you and your staff to only chart new patients into the system during this adjustment period. Or, maybe start with just a certain number of patients per day. It's totally up to you and what your team is comfortable with!

We suggest sticking with your weekly meetings, at least until you're totally comfortable with the new system. That way, you and your staff can be open and honest about any issues that you're having while you get used to the system. Be realistic with your expectations. There's a good chance that you're probably going to run into a bump or two. If you're seeing any type of slow down in patient care it might not hurt to let your patients know that you're getting used to a new system, and that you appreciate their patience. They'll probably enjoy the transparency and honesty!

If you're worried about managing change in your practice, download our guide! It's packed full of tips to help you and your practice navigate the rough waters of change resistance!

EHR-Implementation

Topics: Office Manager, Practice Management, EHR Software, Tips for ECPs

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