In the Medical Industry, there are still a lot of non-believers out there; people who fight the idea that EMR software helps medical practices. Even if you venture to suggest the financial incentives when used properly, you’ll get pushback: excessive downtime, failure to improve practice efficiencies or control costs, and even financial loss.
However, under closer review it’s likely that the failure rate of Electronic Medical Records system implementation is not so much about the technology factor as it is about the human factor. Ask most business leaders and they will tell you that technology cannot fix poor workflow processes. You cannot run out, buy the first EMR program you see, and expect it to be up and running without a hitch inside of three months. You’ll only exacerbate the problems you already have.
Before you implement any technological change – EMR software or otherwise – you need a plan.
Step 1: Flow Chart
Some people may believe that the first step in implementing EMR software is to choose a program. However, they would be wrong. Before you can even decide on the best EMR software for your medical practice, you should flow chart your medical practice functions. Understanding the current flow will aid you in determining the right software for your needs. Keep in mind that you may need (or want) to change processes as you move forward.
Step 2: Prepare Your Staff for Change
You’ll also want to prepare your medical office staff for change. Managing change is probably one of the most difficult parts of any business operation. Yet too many leaders neglect to prepare their staff for dealing with the uncertainty it brings.
Step 3: Plan the Process
The next step is to plan the implementation process. Consider what members of your medical staff will be involved in each stage of implementation as well as the final use of the EMR software. This will assist you in determining the training requirements for each employee – another vital step in the process.
Step 4: Be Patient
When you conduct your EMR training, be sure to leave plenty of time for your medical office staff to assimilate and practice what they have learned without feeling rushed.
Step 5: Offer Support
Finally, make sure there is a strong support system – both technically and emotionally. Not only is it wise to have someone on site to address system problems, but it is important to create an environment where team members assist each other.
Though there are those that believe otherwise, EMR software is not going away. Therefore, it might be wiser to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later. After all, you might as well take advantage of the fact that EMR software helps companies.
If you would like additional information about comparing EMR software solutions, we have more information on our website, and a worksheet you can download to assist you in evaluating various solutions.