If correctly implemented, electronic health record (EHR) programs can save physicians countless hours by making day-to-day administrative tasks faster and easier. While this sounds straightforward, many health organizations struggle to put their EHR system to good use within a reasonable timeframe.
If a user doesn’t know how to operate the systems, tasks can take longer, can be done incorrectly, and can cause a good deal of frustration. Unfortunately, this has happened before and on a full scale. For example, the British National Health Service switched over to EHR back in 2005, but implementation proved more difficult than anticipated, causing public complaints.
However, with comprehensive training and a clear strategy, implementing an EHR system at your health care facility can run smoothly and can dramatically boost efficiency. To properly prepare employees and make the most of your company’s investment in an EHR system, consider the following tips:
1. Find Someone to Help You Understand the Tool
The most effective and basic approach you can take to adopt an EHR system is to hire outside help. EHR software is complicated in nature, and hiring a professional for operation and training can help your business realize the full potential of your new system.
This is where services like NextGen consulting come into play. A team of EHR experts can help your business to transition into EHR, train staff, optimize processes, and solve any problems that arise. Working with a health information technology consultant helps health organizations provide faster, smarter care without risking productivity losses. Hiring outside help can also reduce staffing expenses.
While hiring consultants from companies costs money, it will likely improve a business in the long run. To effectively use an EHR system, which, in turn, makes operations more efficient, you need a comprehensive understanding of the technology. Consultants help reduce the learning curve of using an EHR system and teach clients how to maximize the benefits of their investment.
2. Take Your Time Getting Familiar with the Software
Once you’ve decided to switch your health care organization over to EHR, it’s important to not rush into implementation. Before making the jump, managers should research all the tips, tools, and shortcuts associated with their chosen EHR system.
Don’t underestimate the complexity of EHR systems. Their extensive capabilities are what make them so efficient. Before training staff, be sure to understand all the functions of the system and how they will fit into your day-to-day operations.
Think about adopting an EHR system like how you learn Microsoft Excel. Without first understanding the macros of the application, you can’t harness the program’s full capabilities and end up doing things manually that could be done in seconds with a simple formula. To avoid this inefficiency, be sure to fully acquaint yourself and key team members with EHR and its advanced functions before bringing the rest of the staff on board.
3. Ensure the Entire Team is Comfortable with the Tool Before Full Implementation
To smoothly adopt an EHR system, it’s essential that you include key staff members every step of the way. Anyone who will be interfacing with the system and performing administrative tasks needs to understand the ins and outs of the software.
Throughout the onboarding process, make time to sit down with your staff members and hear their feedback about the training process. You may even want to have a few higher-level employees check out potential EHR systems before choosing one to ensure the software will fit everyone’s needs.
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your staff avoid the frustrations and pitfalls that any major transition has the potential to cause. By making proper plans before adopting an EHR system, you can quickly make the most of what your NextGen Software or other EHR system has to offer.