To properly prepare your staff for Electronic Medical Records implementation, your office should keep the lines of communication open on several levels. First and foremost are the reasons for the organization’s commitment to the new system. When articulating your vision, keep the meetings upbeat and give the staff a sense of involvement in the undertaking.
Employees might question the value and added responsibilities that come with disrupting the status quo. Others might not be computer literate to adequately grasp the changes that will soon be taking place. Preparing for this cultural shift should begin with an understanding that the staff will be trained and supported throughout the process and continue to be updated on new methods of clinical documentation.
A simple way to increase involvement is to let the staff give feedback on how your EMR might be designed. Most systems allow for tweaks to screen content, drop-down lists and color schemes. This will give your team a sense of ownership of the end product. Give employees the chance to see the product during vendor demos and let them discover the value by giving them access to the plans for new equipment that will accompany the EMR.
By allowing your staff to be involved, the practice can better deal with a difficult period that will more than likely include higher expenses and reduced reimbursements as your team learns the new system. Conversions take time, but by communicating frequently the importance of the project your staff will respond with positive results.
Many practices have a team leader or “Super User” who are more skilled with Information Technology and have extra training and practice to familiarize them with the use of the EMR. After the system is rolled-out, this specialist can help the staff on specific issues for their job. The training program from the vendor should cover likely functions the end-user will need to perform their jobs with plenty of practice time. But the super user can add a valuable resource when the training is complete.
The beginning of any large project will be a challenge. The evolution of hardware and software technology and the sheer power of EMR systems will help transform your business practices. Now that your staff is on board, ask them to help you spread the word to your patients and the community. This creates curiosity and enthusiasm and will help propel your practice to new heights.
Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit http://www.ironcomet.com