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Health and Fitness

10 Tips for AdvancedMD EHR Software Implementation

A digital version of a patient’s paper chart is an electronic health record (EHR). EHR Software is patient-centered, real-time records that make information instantly and securely available to authorized users.

Implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a multi-step process that affects all employees. As with any new process, there is a learning curve. A well-thought-out plan can save your team hours of stress.

Here are the ten most important steps to a successful EHR implementation.

1) Create an Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation Team

You’ll need a strong team to help you implement your EHR as smoothly as possible. Staff members such as physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and administrative personnel may be part of the team. Team members will help the process by teaching colleagues EHR skills and acting as messengers to the implementation team to identify roadblocks.

A lead super user, a lead physician, and a project manager are three critical roles to consider when putting together your team.

SuperUser in Charge

The resident in-house EHR expert serves as the lead super user. Some responsibilities may include creating templates and developing workflows. This position may also be in charge of developing standard operating procedures to address problems that users encounter while using the system.

Physician in Charge

The role of the lead physician is to guide the organization through EHR implementation by acting as a liaison between the system’s front-line users and the technical staff. As the lead physician, consider using a tech-savvy physician who is excited about the new process.

Manager of Projects

The project manager will serve as the primary point of contact between the EHR vendor and the staff. This position will also assist everyone in staying on track with implementation timelines, tracking progress, and dealing with user issues.

2) Install the Software

To avoid HIPPA violations, ensure that security measures are followed when implementing your EHR. A HIPAA risk assessment may be required for your organization. You can collaborate with your health IT vendor to ensure that the software is compliant.

3) Determine Your Hardware Requirements

Your hardware selections will have a significant impact on the amount of time and money your practice spends. Having a printer in every room, for example, can save physicians up to 30 minutes per day. To save time logging in and out between patient interactions, some practices give each staff member their own tablet or laptop. If the prospect of doing all of this seems daunting, IT service providers can assist practices with system hardware requirements by locating the best equipment at the best price. Many companies will also install and troubleshoot the devices, relieving your office staff of this burden.

4) Consider the Layout of the Patient Treatment Room.

Because the EHR program necessitates electronic data entry, the room layout has a significant impact on patient engagement and satisfaction. Patients may feel unheard if the staff and physician turn away from the patient while entering data.

One solution is to use the “triangle of trust.” The patient, physician, and computer form a virtual triangle in this room configuration, allowing the patient and the physician to see each other.

This layout is beneficial because the staff member or physician only needs to turn slightly while entering data, giving the patient the impression that they are being seen. Consider putting semi-circular desks in inpatient rooms or using moveable carts to help the patients.

5) Data Transfer

Once your hardware and software are up and running, the next step in EHR implementation is data transfer. To begin, you’ll need to figure out how to transfer data from your old record system to your new EHR.

This step can be completed in a variety of ways. You can assign existing employees or hire additional or temporary employees to upload data into the new EHR.

To make this process as easy as possible, create a checklist of information to enter into the EHR. Having a process in place will help ensure that no important information is overlooked.

6) Create Workflows

Speaking about processes now is the time to establish solid workflows. To reduce the amount of stress your team will face, it is critical to establish workflows prior to EHR implementation.

Inefficient workflows, as well as a lack of staff members who are trained and ready to use the EHR, will exacerbate problems during the implementation process.

Consider the following questions as you design workflows:

  • Is this really necessary?
  • Is this beneficial to the patient?
  • Does this make the staff more efficient?
  • Is this the correct sequence?
  • Is this being done by the right person?

7) What to Do if Your EHR Is Not Working

You must be prepared for the occasional glitch, as with any type of technology. Begin by brainstorming issues and developing a solid game plan for dealing with potential problems.

What, for example, will you do if the power goes out? What if there is a system-wide malfunction that necessitates the assistance of IT? You should create procedures that provide physicians and staff with clear instructions on what to do when the EHR is unavailable.

Having both electronic and paper procedures available to staff will boost their confidence in dealing with EHR downtime. Some medical practices compile the instructions in three-ring binders and keep copies on-site and off-site. Consider storing PDF copies on a secure cloud as well, so that staff members have multiple options for receiving instructions quickly.

8) Install a Training Program

Extensive training is required to ensure the success of EHR implementation. Create a training plan to ensure that all physicians and staff, current and future, have the knowledge and skills to successfully use the EHR Software when it is ready to go live.

ALSO, READEverything You Must Know About AdvancedMD

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

Begin slowly.

Before launching, teach physicians and staff the fundamentals. Users may struggle to fully comprehend the system until they are able to use the program.

After users have been able to “drive” for at least a week, additional training can be introduced to improve skills, learn time-saving tricks, and become more familiar with the technology.

Allow colleagues to teach their colleagues.

Consider educating super users in each specialty and role. Nurses, for example, are the best teachers of nurses, and surgeons are the best teachers of surgeons. Furthermore, if each specialty has a superuser, they can serve as an ongoing resource for their colleagues.

Determine your ongoing training requirements.

Make a strategy for ongoing training. Users will discover shortcuts and new ways to use the tools over time and will want to share their discoveries with their colleagues.

Furthermore, the EHR will need to be updated with new and/or improved functionality, which will necessitate additional training.

Methods for dealing with these situations include:

  • Create a system for users to submit EHR recommendations so that changes can be implemented.
  • Encourage active EHR users to share feedback and solutions for improving usability, either through a formal tracking system or an online discussion that encourages the exchange of ideas.
  • Make a system for ongoing EHR customization. Once physicians and staff have a firm grasp on the new EHR, they will be able to identify changes that will improve workflow.

Maintain the EHR vendor relationship and use IT support to:

  • Create or modify data entry templates.
  • Examine the forms and letters generated by the EHR.
  • Allow new clinical decision support rules to be implemented (if available)
  • Order sets can be modified.
  • Look for opportunities to integrate with other commonly used systems in the practice.

Plan ahead of time for group training. Because training takes time away from seeing patients, advanced planning minimizes disruption to the practice workflow.

9) Choose a Launch Approach – “Big Bang” or Increased?

When your EHR implementation strategy is complete, it’s time to decide how to launch. There are typically two approaches: all at once, known as the “Big Bang,” or gradually, using an incremental approach.

Some practices take a “big bang” approach, implementing the EHR system for all patients and functions on the same day. This method reduces the amount of time spent managing both paper records and the new EHR system. The disadvantage is that it can be very disruptive, making minor issues appear monumental.

Some practices take a more gradual approach, implementing the EHR in stages. Some practices find that introducing EHR functions one at a time, such as e-prescribing first and then adding other features later, makes the disruption easier to manage.

Larger practices and organizations may implement the EHR gradually, beginning with specific sites or departments and gradually introducing the program to the rest of the organization.

Once the launch strategy has been determined, physicians and staff can begin preparing for the new EHR software.

10) Collect Feedback for Ongoing Improvement

Now that you’ve successfully implemented the EHR, make sure to collect user feedback to continuously improve the process.

Maintain open lines of communication so that staff and physicians feel comfortable providing feedback. The EHR software will benefit your practice if everyone collaborates.

Implementing an EHR is a multi-step process that necessitates careful planning. Make the transition as easy as possible by following these steps. We would like to advise you to use the AdvancedMD EHR software to streamline your medical practice.

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