Four tips for building your EHR selection team and identifying their needs

When building an EHR selection team, it is essential that you create a team that is representative of all aspects and facets of the medical practice. Members of the selection team should offer different perspectives on how the system will be used and integrated, have a wide array of experience and in-depth knowledge of the practice, have a willingness and ability to share their time and talents and bring a positive outlook to the selection process.

Here are four tips for building your EHR selection team:

1. Identify members that want to be a part of the team

Do not randomly assign this position. The EHR selection team will do work that is above and beyond their typical job duties and responsibilities. Therefore, it is important to choose members that want to be a part of this process and are willing to bring the energy, motivation and positive outlook to the position. If you assign this position to someone who is not interested, or brings a negative viewpoint to the project, then the process will be much more labor intensive and likely less successful.

Recommended reading: get through the selection phase of your EHR project unscathed with our EHR selection survival guide.

2. Identify needs of each department and team

Take a survey from several members of each department (clinicians, billing, operations, administration etc). Simply ask what is most important to them for EHR in their role. In reviewing their answers, you will have an overall idea of specific needs for the new system. This gives a starting point for team led discussions and includes more input from the whole practice. Additionally, you will have given an opportunity for the entire practice to provide input, which will likely increase user buy-in during implementation.

3. Plan goals, timeline and job roles

When recruiting for this team, it may be difficult to get people to join if they do not know what the role will entail. By planning the goals, timeline and responsibilities of the EHR selection team ahead of time, current staff will have a clear indication of what the process will be. They will know the extent of time and responsibilities of the commitment, making the role less intimidating. Further, by planning the process ahead of time, you will be more likely to stay on track and reach set milestones and objectives during the planning and implementation process.

4. Pick a balanced team from different areas of the practice

EHR team leader: This role is essential for managing and coordinating timeline of selection and implementation. This is a senior administrative personnel who is highly invested in the practice and has high motivation for ensuring success.

  • Respected physician: The physicians will be doing a large majority of the documentation, patient encounters, and importantly billing out for services. They will need a system that is user friendly, does not take away from patient care and promotes wellness for their patients.

  • Respected nurse and/or ancillary staff: They will be doing the most documentation into the new system. They need a system with orderly workflows and great ease of use, as they are collecting and inputting important patient data.

  • Administrative leader: The administrative leader will bring knowledge of the operations aspect of the practice, including patient intake, systems processes and billing. This role will bring a focus on productivity and efficiency.

  • Information technology leader: The IT member will be critical in order to ensure appropriate technology equipment, internet connectivity and networking systems.

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Amy Vant

About the author…

Amy Vant is a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director for an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the United States. She has experience utilizing and implementing many forms of medical documentation through various healthcare practice venues. Amy enjoys writing about healthcare administration strategies, including electronic health record systems.

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Amy Vant

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