So many doctors are nervous to make the switch to electronic health records. We understand that change can be a scary thing, especially a change this big. Making the switch to a new EHR is not only going to be a big investment, but it will also affect the current flow of your practice. But, with the right EHR, the benefits your practice will receive down the road will outweigh the difficulties that may arise while you get started with a new system.
With Halloween right around the corner, we wanted to compare the process of EHR implementation to walking through a haunted house. There may be unexpected events that jump out and scare you, but there is always a way around each obstacle and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Buying Your Ticket and Prepping for the House
If you're on the way to a haunted house, you've probably done a little research and you know better than to wear high heels that you can't run away in. If you're about to dive into a new software implementation, you should do a little research about what exactly your practice and patients need from an EHR. Something in your office is going on that is making you want to switch to a new EHR, so make sure that you sit down with your staff and determine what it is exactly that you expect to get from a new software, and what you already have in your office in terms of hardware and equipment that you might need for the potential change.
Don't Walk in Alone
Walking through a haunted house can be scary, and not something that many people want to do alone. Same goes for EHR implementation. You want to choose a vendor who is going to be there for you and help guide you through the process so you don't get lost along the way. Do some research on each vendor. Find out what type of training and support they have available during the implementation process so that you and your staff can be as successful as possible.
Be Prepared for the Lights to Go Out
You can't expect your time in a haunted house to be calm always. The lights are probably going to go out, doors are going to slam, and monsters are going to jump out at you. And with EHR implementation, you might hit a few unexpected bumps in the road that you weren't prepared for. So make sure that you have a plan of attack that all of your staff members are on board with. Maybe you start with entering only new patients into the EHR, or just a certain number of patients each day, so that you don't get too caught up in the new system that it delays any appointments.
Don't Let the Man with the Chainsaw Scare You Away
People run hard and fast away from the chainsaw man in the haunted house, but sometimes he's the most memorable moment you reflect on after you've realized how fun the haunted house was. Some of your staff members might be scared of making the change to new software and adjusting their workflow initially. Change management is going to be a big part of your job during the implementation process, but keep in mind the rewards you'll reap after everything is done. Getting everyone on board and assuring them that this is the best move for your practice is an important step in the implementation process.
Looking for tips on managing change in your practice? Download our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Change Management. If everyone in your office doesn't have the right outlook and attitude about the change, it could crumble.
Originally published in October 2014