Six Crucial EHR Implementation Tips
1. Communicate the practice’s desire to acquire an EHR before the purchase. Better yet, have the staff be included in the decision of which EHR vendor to choose. It is common for a physician to choose an EHR with no input from the support staff. This can create a feeling of resentment among staff and a feeling that their input is not useful or necessary. The staff will more likely embrace a system that they have had input in choosing and will be more acceptable to the adoption. Be aware that support staff may feel that they could be replaced by the new technology. In certain cases this may be accurate particularly with file clerks or other types of staff but be sensitive to this possible concern.
2. A crucial part of the success of your implementation will rely on the success of the hardware infrastructure readiness. For a client/server environment, the project should be planned in advance to define locations of workstations, printers, kiosks, servers, and/or wireless device access points etc. Existing hardware systems may need to be upgraded and/or reviewed to determine the stability of the system prior to any software installation. In addition, cabling may need to be run to new locations to accommodate access to the network. New systems need to be purchased and delivered well in advance of implementation to allow for testing. Once the infrastructure is in place, the testing phase should begin to ensure all aspects of the network and hardware are functioning properly. Phase 2 of testing begins once the EHR software has been installed complete with a dummy database to enable appropriate testing of the applications in the new environment. It’s a wise investment to hire a local IT expert to handle these issues.
3. Be patient! Learning curves are usually underestimated. The learning curve for complete and successful adoption of the EHR is usually vastly underestimated. Even if productivity is not affected initially during the go-live phase, most providers do report an increase in the length of time necessary for documentation for 6 months or so, especially if templates are used and the provider’s are not familiar with them.
4. YOU will ultimately set the tone! Remain positive and motivational
5. Designate certain users to be “Superusers”. Their role is to provide immediate, first line response to staff with questions and issues during go-live. Being able to provide immediate support to staff during a go-live situation will more likely ensure that productivity is not interrupted.
6. Map out new workflows utilizing current staff members. Map out current workflows on paper and bring in the end-users who perform the current workflows to help design new workflows for the EHR. No one knows their job better than the person who does it every day.
The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/
How to Overcome the Hidden Barrier to Successful Electronic Records Adoption & Meaningful Use
Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs FAQs
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to keep you updated with the latest information about the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. These new frequently asked questions (FAQs) include information about clinical quality measures (CQMs), meaningful use, attestation, and other Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs topics.
Make sure to visit the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.
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