How to identify your EHR support requirements when selecting a new system
Different practices will require varying amounts and types of EHR support for their new system, depending on the type of practice and the experience of the staff. A practice that relies primarily on paper charting and has staff that is not technologically savvy may require greater training and support for the technology aspect of utilizing the EHR system. A practice with staff that are comfortable with contemporary technology may require less technology-based EHR support, in which case the support may focus solely on workflow and implementation.
Use all practice staff to identify your EHR support requirements
In order to identify the support needs of your practice, one of the first things you can do is to survey your staff. Many clinicians will worry about whether the system will have a negative impact on their daily work duties. Ask the staff the following questions: What makes you the least comfortable about implementing and utilizing electronic health records? In what areas do you feel confident about utilizing EHR? What is the most important thing you want in an EHR system?
Identifying EHR support requirements: Clinical staff feedback
By gaining an initial understanding of their baseline confidence, you will be able to better predict their support needs. It is likely that most of the answers will revolve around system usability and timeliness of documentation. As a practice manager or administrator, you will be able to identify areas of difficulty within the practice from the feedback you received from staff. These are likely to be areas with a negative impact on the productivity of the clinical staff. For example, in a rehabilitative setting, a therapist may demonstrate a decline in productivity when completing new evaluations, in comparison to treatment visits. There is likely something in relation to the evaluation that involves more time and strain during data input. Therefore, the therapist may need support for completion of evaluations in the EHR system.
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Identifying EHR support requirements:Administrative staff feedback
Almost all practices have some type of front office or registration desk where patient demographic and insurance information is entered. This process will eventually become routine, but when implementing a new EHR system, it can cause great disturbance to a practice. For this reason, it is important to recognize that even basic operational tasks will need support in order for the practice to run smoothly and efficiently.
EHR support requirements
Identify subjects that make the staff feel anxious, identify areas of reduced productivity and identify operational tasks that must run efficiently. Regardless of the type of clinical practice, by providing support in these areas, your clinical and administrative staff will feel more at ease with the transition and the practice will be able to continue running smoothly.
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