Optimization of your selected EHR system is key to healthy ROI and maximizing its potential benefits; however, it can take months for practices to develop a good, working knowledge of all the functions of their EHR system. Best outcomes for EHR implementation occur when medical practices adopt a goal of integrating the EHR into their entire operation, and view EHR implementation as a journey, not a destination.
Preparation is key: Do not select an EHR system without careful planning. Technological changes nonwithstanding, there will be process changes also, and if you select a poorly designed system or do not provide sufficient training and support, low adoption rates by your staff and providers may result, causing reduced productivity and dissatisfaction.
Review your present workflow: Analyze your existing paperwork process, eliminate inefficiencies and incorporate best practices into your redesigned workflow for integration into your EHR implementation.
Select the system with the right amount of capacity for your practice. Too much or too little capacity increases the potential for inefficiency, resulting in loss of revenue. Additionally, Access and "up time" are two critical factors to consider in your selection process. Also consider where you would like your practice to be in the future. Look for a system that can scale with you.
Involve your staff: Engaging the people who will be using the system day to day is just good common sense. Soliciting their inputs and incorporating their needs into the EHR selection will improve the "buy-in" from your staff, but will also provide a blueprint that will facilitate EHR implementation.
Don't implement alone: The initial impressions of your staff and providers is critical to the EHR systems's acceptance and successful adoption. Partner with an EHR company and utilize their training programs to plan and implement your EHR system.
Be patient: Even the most well designed, user friendly, efficient EHR will have an adjustment period. Together, with the company from whom you purchased your EHR system or the consultants hired to guide your practice through EHR implementation, continue to provide support and encouragement.
Acquisition, implementation, and integration of an EHR system can be one of the best decisions you can make for the future of your practice. The key points to remember are: preparation, partnership, and patience.
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