How to Achieve a Successful EHR Go-Live
After thoroughly testing and retesting your EHR software, you will have a good idea of the confidence and proficiency with which your staff utilize the new system. You will have established workflow processes and each staff member will know their role in the implementation of the new system. Once you have presented your testing, modification and retesting outcomes, you should gain approval for EHR go-live.
Allaying Staff Anxiety
Your go-live date may come with some anxiety from your staff because all of their training will be put to the test, in front of real patients. It is important that administration and management put their nerves at ease by providing support, encouragement and recognition of a job well done. Your management, office and clinical staff must be prepared to be flexible and to troubleshoot on the spot. Ensure that your super users and administrative managers are on site during your launch with real patients. You must keep a sense of calm in the clinic during EHR go-live in order to reduce staff anxiety and patient frustration.
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Over the first few days of implementing the system, keep the work schedule and extra duties to a minimum. Concentration should be on the new EHR system. Decrease patient caseloads for clinical staff in order to ensure proper input of medical data and care plans. Give the administrative, clinical and office staff time to adjust to new workflows and processes. When staff members become overwhelmed, they are more likely to become frustrated and lose interest in mastering the new system. Acknowledge that learning a new system takes time and the best way to learn is by making and correcting mistakes.
Keeping Patients Informed
It is essential to inform patients that you are implementing a new EHR system. When calling to confirm patient appointments, let them know that you are in the process of ERH go-live. Educate them on the benefits of improved patient care, improved communication and medical record management. If they are aware of the transition, they will likely be more understanding of minor hold-ups or technical difficulties during their office visit.
Your go-live date may come with some anxiety from your staff because all of their training will be put to the test, in front of real patients.
Patients understand that change and technology can come with a fair degree of frustration. The mistake comes when patients are kept in the dark and unaware of the project your practice is working on. If they do not know what is going on, they will be more likely to become frustrated and blame staff that “don’t know what they are doing.” Avoid this frustration by being upfront about the practice transition.
The most important thing to remember is that despite months of planning and training, your EHR go-live date will come with at least a few hold ups. Because so many people are involved in the implementation of an EHR system within a practice, not every patient encounter will go smoothly. The good news is that each patient encounter will be a new learning experience, allowing your staff to further master the EHR system.
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