Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Is The Average Time Before A Practice Is Comfortable With Their EMR?

Making the shift to an EMR-based practice is sure to impact your work-method in more ways than you can count. This impact recoils with a significant amount of change that practitioners are known to dislike as it brings them to a rather discomforting and unfamiliar territory. In fact, a research by evitontest.info suggests that the biggest obstacles to EMR implementation have been physician resistance and lack of useful information or not knowing where to start.

It does not take much to realize that the manner in which you approach these obstacles will determine the time it will take your practice to get comfortable with the EMR. Therefore, the real challenge resides in adopting realistic measures to help your staff internalize the new technology and utilize it to its maximum potential.


EMR Training and Change Management

As a practitioner, your goal is not just to accommodate the EMR in the daily work life of your practice but to have it used in a way that contributes to your productivity and Meaningful Use objectives. This process can stretch from a few months to even more than a year depending on the quality and effectiveness of EMR and IT training that is imparted to all levels of the practice. To begin with, all EMR users must be equipped with basic IT and computer skills to help them understand and efficiently execute the more advanced EMR processes. Only when they are comfortable with routine activities like using the mouse, printing, scanning, working with files and basic graphical user interface, should they be put onto working with the EMR. Sure, you want to take the system live as soon as possible, but you must allow for a learning curve, not expecting them to construct a whole sentence when they still haven’t been taught the alphabet!


EMR Implementation - One Step at A time

You must keep in mind that your staff is already resistant to this new technology. Overwhelming them with a load of new information to save on training time will only demoralize them and there is a strong possibility that going too fast may have them give up on it altogether. Taking one step at a time is a good idea to help your employees feel comfortable and confident about the software. Opt for a gradual and progressive training module that steadily moves from feature to feature instead of bombarding them with a whole new world of technical jargon and processes they are not likely to befriend.
Also, if an EMR feature is to be used only by a certain set of employees, training the whole staff on that feature will only eat into their grasping ability for the features they truly require. Hence, you must ensure that your training plan takes this redundancy into account and focuses on relevant function-based features.


Motivation Boosters

Without a doubt, for effective and expeditious EMR implementation, the motivation has to come right from the top. Physicians must convey the importance of incorporating the EMR into the practice and leading by example, should display the dedication and commitment they expect from their staff. In order to get employees to accept the new technology without feeling like they’re being punished, physicians must involve them in decision-making processes for training programs, schedules, time lines and so on.

To put a number on how long it takes for a practice to get comfortable with their EMR, one has to take the above factors into consideration. Instead of intimidating your staff by rushing in, focus on building a strong base and steadily look to capitalize on it. This might take you an additional few months to completely ‘go live’ and use it like second nature, but it is an investment that is bound to reap long term benefits of productivity and improved quality of care.


References:

1.    http://evitontest.info/tag/emr-implementation/
2.    http://www.healthcareguy.com/2011/03/12/waiting-until-2012-on-attestation-for-meaningful-use-doesnt-mean-you-shouldnt-buy-an-ehr-in-2011/
3.    http://hubpages.com/hub/Meaningful-Use-Made-Easy-Understanding-Core-Objectives
4.    http://www.revenuexl.com/blog/bid/23066/8-Cardinal-Sins-of-Electronic-Medical-Records-EMR-Training
5.    http://www.ctsguides.com/Training-makes-EMR-Software-Investment-Succeed.asp

1 comments:

Ebio Metronics said...

Paper based claim management approaches no more appreciated in health care industry. Electronic medical billing services are used to eliminate the risks of claim denials due to timely reasons and improper claim filling. Electronic billing allows claim filling and submissions on time that results in faster reimbursement.

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