The vast majority of doctors in the US have implemented some form of an EHR/EMR – but if you’ve found that the system you have in place doesn’t quite fit your practice, you may be on the lookout for something that works better. An EHR transition requires a dedicated team, as well as lots of time, energy, and planning. Even after the go-live date, there’s still the possibility of bumps and hurdles that can hinder a smooth transition.
If you’re implementing an EHR for the first time or changing from a different one, here are 4 tips to make sure the process goes smoothly and your practice is as efficient as ever:
Establish clear objectives
Create a plan with your vendor for exactly what you want the EMR to do and how you want it to improve your medical practice. Remember that objectives can change; nothing is set in stone, but it’s great to have an outline of what you need. Once you have that clearly defined, figure out how success can be measured with the new EMR. Involve your entire staff in this process. The EMR will affect everyone, so staff input for what they want the EMR to do matters. Also, consider any feedback you’ve gathered from patients. This gives you a clear idea of what patients are expecting from your office.
Identify any weaknesses or problems in the beginning
Any weakness or possible problems with the EHR, such as interoperability between systems, should be addressed before implementation. Talk with your vendor about these issues and make sure everything is resolved before the go-live date. Even though this seems like an obvious thing to do, we see it time and time again where problems are forecasted but never fixed.
Assemble a leadership or project management team
EHR implementation is a massive change to your office, so it’s best to view this transition as a project that can be broken into smaller parts. Always remember that you shouldn’t have any downtime — your practice will continue to function, and you will need to assist patients during the transition process. We recommend beginning with a partial transition step — a small change that will come with the new EHR, such as a different paperwork flow. Assign an individual or team to be in charge of that process. Assigning at least one person to commit to the project full-time can minimize confusion and ensure a smooth transition. Choose a timeframe in which the small change can happen — once the initial transition process has happened, the full implementation can take place
Measure your success
Many practices think the work stops after the EHR has been implemented. The real payoff for the EHR comes when a medical practice stays focused on achieving full adoption through the organization. Our best advice is for practices to track whether and how providers and staff use the new system. Asking your staff about any problems they’ve experienced or difficulty they’ve had with adoption is essential to successfully implementing a new EHR. Utilization and outcomes can be monitored with tools such as dashboards, checklists, and gap analysis forms.
If you’re switching your EMR to 1st Providers, you’re in good hands. Our specialty specific EMR and practice management software will allow your practice to maximize efficiency by having a software program that is designed for your specialty upon installation. To ensure success, one of the first steps is an implementation planning meeting where we discuss your practice’s workflow and specific needs within the software. We provide a specialty specific team where each customer is assigned a clinical trainer, administration and setup trainer, and a billing trainer. We also offer project management, software personalization, and EMR customization to ensure a smooth transition. Contact 1st Providers Choice online or by phone at 480-782-1116 to discuss moving to a better EMR system.