When it is time to implement a fresh electronic health record (EHR) system, you must invest time in thorough planning. Adequate preparation will enable you to train personnel, merge existing charts, and allow you to present the new data system with passion and confidence.
This will also ignite the same passion in the minds of the clinicians who implement it. Here’s a brief guide to implementing your EHR. If you follow the steps here, you’ll prepare the entire team for training, migration and full implementation.
1. Plan to Manage Change
Successful EHR implementation begins with a solid plan to manage the transition from the old manual or legacy system to the new EHR system. It’s important because it enables your staff to accept and use the new software. It also helps overcome the challenges that occur in large healthcare facilities where many clinicians and other healthcare professionals have diverse roles.
Here are some of the steps you can take to manage change:
- Select a Project Manager: Choose someone who is loved and respected by all employees to introduce the system and monitor the relevant timeline
- Prepare for resistance: Be ready to deal with resistance due to complacency, phobia for technology or low morale
- Present benefits: Let all admin staff, clinicians, and patients know what the system will do for them
2. Choose the Data to Migrate
Data migration is essential for the success of the EHR. A successful migration will enable clinicians to access vital medical records for patients. When patient data is accurately migrated, virtually all clinicians will buy into the new system. To reduce the time and effort required to migrate data, you’ll need to:
- Decide on which records to migrate: Determine whether to include only active patients in the new system and set the criteria for putting others in a legacy archive
- Train computer operators: Teach your data entry team to enter past records correctly. Let them follow a well-defined workflow
- Check and clean up data: Ensure all patient data is correct and keep all paper records and charts in a secure place
3. Set Up EHR Training
Prepare for practical training sessions. Take time to assess how proficient your clinicians are with the use of computers. To make your EHR training effective, you’ll need to:
- Create a timeline for your training
- Focus on improving the computer skills of participants
- Let one person coordinate the training in each department
- Make specific training modules that are relevant to each department
In addition to the initial training, you’ll need to ensure that users can make use of the support package provided by the EHR vendor.
4. Do a Thorough System Test
After you’ve completed your training and all relevant data has been migrated, it’s time for a comprehensive test. This is the time to set up new procedures for data capture, clinical documentation, billing, and following up with patients.
During training, you’ll be able to identify any issues that can disrupt normal workflow when the system is fully deployed.
Get a Seamless EHR Implementation
With the help of EHR system experts like HEF Solutions, you can plan and implement a smooth transition to a new electronic healthcare record platform. We’ve helped both large and small healthcare facilities to plan, implement and optimize their EHR systems. Give us a call now to become another EHR success story.