You’ve made the tough decision to switch from paper records, and now you’re in a quandary about which EHR system will best suit your needs. It’s hard not knowing what questions haven’t been answered yet.
The good news is that there are plenty of options available for both public health agencies and private companies that provide healthcare services such as hospitals or clinics. So take some time before settling on just one vendor because once implemented, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to change gears later if things don’t work out initially.
That path is not always clear-in fact; at times, it may be littered with challenges that feel insurmountable. Yet the effort should be worth every benefit of a modern platform so have confidence you can guide your team down this route to success. This article will help providers navigate selecting vendors for EHRs or going live chosen once, no matter how challenging things get along their way. Tips on picking up where something might stop them in their tracks.
- Embrace discovery calls.
Discovery calls are vital for providers as they gear up to implement. The purpose of a discovery call is to ensure all stakeholders in an organization have the necessary information so that their department’s workflow can be analyzed and improved upon.
When organizations transition from simple EHRs to greater capabilities, workflows are inevitably enhanced.
Process discovery calls are an opportunity for departments to set the tone of voice they want in their process improvement efforts. The goal should be a friendly, engaging environment where everyone’s questions and concerns are addressed so that time is not wasted by repeating information or going off-topic with tangential discussions.
“If your organization lacks experience with process improvement,” says Dr. Robbins, “you must fully embrace discovery calls.” He advocates spending ample amounts of valuable meeting minutes establishing current workflows–including why certain processes exist-which reports need completing, for clinical purposes”.
Once the implementation team has defined all relevant information, they map current workflows to past practices and future ones. From there, providers must ask themselves: Do we need any modifications within a process or form?
2. Keep stakeholders engaged & bring in the subject matter experts.
Stakeholders are people who have an investment in the success of your business. They’re stakeholders because they care deeply about what happens with it, whether that’s for positive or negative reasons! The more involved these individuals can be during implementation-the better off everyone will be when things go smoothly later on down the line.
Additional stakeholders are often added during implementation, but these individuals’ importance in steering an optimized EHR towards executive decision-making power can’t be stressed enough.
SMEs are the backbone of healthcare. They have expertise in EHR implementation and help ensure your system is running smoothly by providing data collection and decision-making processes for you throughout this process.
3. Follow best practices.
The key to a successful EHR workflow is aligning your organization with the solutions prescribed by each specific platform. Suppose you do not follow these best practices. In that case, it will be necessary for future workaround requests and new functionality that don’t apply in light of customized workflows created on this particular system.
When best practices aren’t followed, it needs future workarounds and optimization requests. Conversely, customizing your workflow can lead to inefficiencies as well.
4. Enable super users.
Most providers don’t have enough capital to staff hundreds of administrative trainers, which is why your organization should enable super users or system administrators.
The modern-day workforce is a highly technical and knowledge-based industry. This means that for an organization to continue growing, they need access to all areas of the employees’ expertise to not miss out on any potential growth opportunities or lose revenue because their staff isn’t fully trained on new software systems! The key here? Make sure there are enough system administrators or super users available who can teach others how to use these tools effectively.”
You must start conversations with your super users and be sure to engage them along the way. Without ample time for these types of engagements, complications can arise when it comes down to implementing a new system or process in place at work.
If you are looking for a superuser job, it is essential to contact your clinical leadership and explain the level of commitment from start to go live. Then, after establishing workloads and responsibilities, determine who has the best technical skills to train them on how they can do their job.
You should always identify your super users because they are the key to success. Having a global view makes everything more defined and complicated, which helps these individuals understand their roles within each task or project – especially if there’s anything that needs training for new skill sets.
5. Take advantage of project management.
It is vital to identify individuals who can train any personality for any skill set when identifying your super users. These people also must view the project holistically and work together as a team to get things done.
Contracted project management services can help avoid overwhelming your team or individual during implementation. The extra consulting hours from an EMR for Small Practices are a great way to reach benchmarks on schedule without overworking someone in one department.
Additional technical support is available so you can ensure there will be ample resources at the end of users’ shift for them to get their problem solved.
6. Define workflows & deliver on time.
A successful implementation starts with an accurate workflow map before any work begins. This will help the provider know what they need when implementing a new EHR system and may even prevent them from making errors in a configuration that could jeopardize compliance or result in lost revenue due to poor patient care outcomes.
A good way for healthcare providers who are thinking about upgrading their current software program is by trying out different programs available on-site at customer facilities at as little cost as possible through vendor demos & training sessions organized periodically throughout this year (and next!).
It is critical to have a project timeline to complete all deliverables on time. The repetitive slips of tasks can lead to major impacts for both providers and end-users, including work delays or morale drops because no one knows what’s next. In addition, most projects depend heavily upon others for success; data collection might not happen without builds happening first (and vice versa), training requires testing before anything else happens, etcetera – so it’s very important these things don’t slip past unnoticed.
When you’re ready to make your hospital more efficient, effective, and sustainable while improving patient care outcomes – we can help. We use our expertise in designing transformative change initiatives that drive innovation across departments within organizations. Hence, they become self-sustaining successes with long-term financial stability for years down the line.”
Summer Larson’s background in healthcare stretches over 11 years. He is a well-renowned health IT expert and regularly contributes to popular blogs and websites. She covers topics ranging from health reforms to IT in healthcare. In 2013 he formed EMR Specialist, a company specializing in assisting providers with adopting and implementing electronic health records (EHR) and working with EHR vendors on usability and certification projects. Summer Larson is also an avid Star Wars fan.