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The Secret to True EHR Success

Written by Lea Chatham

The past two years have seen a surge in physicians looking to replace their EHRs. Common complaints are cost, functionality, and ease of use. But when you look at the situation more closely it often comes down to how the system was chosen and implemented.

So if you are looking to implement an EHR, whether it’s the first time or not, there are some key steps to success. Follow them, and you’ll be one of more than 55% of physicians who believe they’ve seen a return on investment from their EHR, and that an EHR makes them more efficient.

One of those key steps is training. If you don’t know how to use your EHR effectively, you are unlikely to achieve your goals and reap the positive results an EHR can bring.

A report from AmericanEHR showed that EHR satisfaction and success are directly tied to the duration and quality of training. People who are not adequately trained can cause several problems by:

  1. Slowing down the patient intake process
  2. Making mistakes that have to be fixed later
  3. Inaccurately documenting or coding visits
  4. Developing bad habits that impede proper workflow and efficiency

These problems affect more than patient care — they impact your bottom line, and ultimately your practice’s success and your ability to stay independent. So don’t skimp on training.

Training should be a minimum of three days where the practice is essentially closed. Take advantage of a holiday or weekend if you can’t afford to be closed. Either way, the training time needs to be dedicated and without interruption. Each team member must understand how the EHR works for their role and how their workflow will change.

After a few days of uninterrupted training, configuration, and testing you should be able to go live with a solid foundation to build on. So, provide as much training as necessary for everyone to feel comfortable and productive from the day you go live.

Don’t forget that your practice’s success is an ongoing concern. You can’t implement new software and call it done. You’ll need to regularly evaluate how everyone is doing and provide additional training and support as needed.



Published: August 24, 2015