EHR Implementation – Take Advantage of Award-Winning Coaching and Training to Enhance Your Onboarding Experience
When Combining the Latest EHR Technology With Professional EHR Implementation, the Results Can Be Game-Changing
A look back
It’s interesting to reminisce to a time ten years ago, when most people were using an iPhone 3GS at best. Each new update of the iPhone required some sort of user adaptation, whether it was a new function in the calendar, or a redesign of Apple Maps. When technology is redesigned, updated or upgraded, there’s typically some sort of adjustment period. A little learning goes a long way, so they say, and this couldn’t be more important when considering implementing a smarter EHR system.
Think about when the latest technology, such as the brand new iPhone, is finally released. It’s not uncommon to see lines around the block, filled with eager customers dying to get their hands on the latest and greatest software. And why is this? Is there really that big of a difference between the operating systems, integration and user experience? Some might say yes. But the real reason is because the average consumer knows the benefit of having the latest and greatest technology at their fingertips. A tiny upgrade or adjustment could make a world of difference, depending on what the technology is being used for.
So if this is true for something as basic as a cell phone, imagine the impact of successful EHR implementation in a busy doctor’s office. Instead of dealing with text messages and Facebook, now we’re talking about helping to improve patient care and the doctor-patient experience. Not only can having a smart EHR system be vital to the success of a physician, it’s also equally important to be a pro at using it.
So how do you become a pro at adapting a state-of-the-art EHR system into your practice? Prioritizing the following simple objectives can help streamline the onboarding process.
1. Make a Plan, a SMART Plan
Once you have purchased a new EHR, it’s important to plan ahead before the educators and onboarding teams come out to start your training and EHR implementation. No two practices are the same, and each office will have its own set of specific must-have items. For instance, one office may only need one iPad, whereas another multi-physician practice may want to be trained on multiple tablets. Either way, it’s always a good idea to think holistically about what could best suit your practice’s unique needs.
Mapping out short-term and long-term goals ahead of time is also a great idea. This strategy of goal-setting is often referred to as SMART goals. SMART goal-setting can help you stay consistent in attaining overall objectives, setting up your staff and ultimately your entire practice for success. To help achieve the industry standard of SMART goal attainment, keep the following in mind:
S – Specific – think specifically about why you need to switch, purchase or upgrade to an innovative EHR system. Then tailor your goals around your biggest pain points, things you’re trying to overcome and future objectives.
M – Measurable – draw up some charts or use a spreadsheet to track your progress in terms of attaining your goals. You can use the measurable aspect of SMART to set up benchmarks, for example in terms of revenue and scheduling, and then establish statistical data to measure your progress against.
A – Attainable – Don’t overdo it when it comes to establishing your short and long-term goals. Stay realistic. Look back on the past year and see what you feel to be your biggest issues and how you handled them. Then look ahead and see the most pragmatic ways in which you can address those issues, without being too ambitious. Remember, in the beginning of using new technology, there may be a learning curve involved. You may want to consider taking it easy for the first few weeks in terms of patient scheduling, and factor the potential learning curve into your expectations for your goals.
R – Realistic – To piggy-back off of the ‘attainable’ aspect, keeping your goals realistic can be key when learning and implementing new software. You’re going to be excited to use a system that learns from you, adapting to your preferences and specific documentation workflows. It can be easy to get carried away when you see how robust a system such as EMA®, for instance, really is. But remember to stay within your major objectives and scale back on what you think that you can actually achieve.
T – Time-bound – Take a look back and analyze the ebb and flow of patient appointments. Were some times of the year busier than others? Do some patients, based on personal information or diagnoses require more attention than others? Are there any trends associated with specific conditions and diagnoses that require more scheduling and planning? Are you tied to deadlines in terms of insurance guidelines? Flesh out time-consuming aspects when it comes to patient diagnoses.
2. The Time Has Come to Welcome the EHR Implementation Team
You’ve made your plan, using the SMART method. The day is finally here to meet your team of on-site educators and implementation teams. Since every practice is different, your EHR implementation schedule will vary. Some EHR vendors may not be as hands-on when it comes to client onboarding. Unfortunately, it’s all too common to spend money on brand new EHR software and then receive mediocre guidance on how to use it, how to effectively train your staff and how to help achieve greater efficiencies by using the software. That’s where a gold award-winning customer service training team such as Modernizing Medicine comes in. Modernizing Medicine® not only has award-winning customer service which comes in handy after EHR implementation, it also offers many different levels of client onboarding and training to suit your individual practices’ needs. It makes a world of difference when you implement a smarter EHR system into your practice, and then receive optimal coaching and training on new products. Remember, it’s not just you that needs to be trained on our software, it’s your entire staff. That is why Modernizing Medicine offers an entire team, consisting of educators, client advisors, coaches and specialists – all to make sure you’re an EHR savvy pro by your go-live date.
3. New Technology – New Practice
Adding new technology to your daily life requires a level of learning and adjusting. When it comes to your medical practice, as complex and involved as it is, implementing new systems will obviously take some getting used to. It’s important to go back to your SMART goal setting and stay on target with your objectives.
Be sure and involve the EHR implementation team with your SMART goals. Let your educators know what aspects you are most excited to implement, your major struggles over the last couple of years with your last EHR version, and how you envision your new technology shaping the health of your practice.
To use Modernizing Medicine as a specific example again, EMA stands for Electronic Medical Assistant®. What does this mean? It means that your EHR is so much more than a system of health records. It means your EHR is actually going to learn from you, predicting your preferences and adapting to your specific workflows. Technology like this is a total game-changer, and one that should not be taken lightly.
Your practice will have an adjustment period, a learning curve and probably a lot of specific questions that will need immediate attention. Modernizing Medicine knows the value of hands-on learning, which is why we don’t just set you up with your EHR and then disappear. We walk through how to use our entire system, help train your staff on-site, and then provide extensive resources on our portal to help your continued learning. After go-live, your practice is assigned its own clinical advisor (CA) that listens and addresses any and all specific concerns. If circumstances warrant, we offer additional training and on-site coaching where needed. We are passionate about our technology, but even more passionate about creating super-users of our robust EHR system.
And speaking of super-users, do you know who those are? During EHR implementation, take a survey of your staff. Pay close attention to who is really digesting the information, and identify a few people that encompass the ‘super-user’ title. Positive training experiences over the years have revealed the team-building opportunities that arise from identifying who the super-users are, and who are the ones who need a bit more coaching. Keep up with your objectives and keep your staff aligned with the main idea: that everyone works on the same team, and everyone learns at their own pace. As long as you pace yourself and follow the instructions of the client onboarding team, you’ll have all users comfortable on our software in no time.
4. The Brief Adjustment Period
You have your brand new EHR technology fully implemented in your practice. You’ve received top-notch on-site training and guidance. You feel confident in using the system, live in front of patients. You’re also equally confidant in your staff’s ability to navigate the software effectively. So the question may be weighing on your mind, how long before I can get back to seeing my normal amount of patients?
Since every practice is different, there’s no hard and fast answer to this. In general, most of our clients report that because our training is so extensive, and we offer so many levels of education and coaching, they rarely will feel an impact with patient reduction scheduling. Within the first week of EHR implementation, we always advise physicians to reduce their patient schedules by 20%. Within the second week, most of our clients are back to operating fully at 100%. This depends largely on how much time you take with our educators. Our implementation teams and product development teams are entrenched in the latest research and coaching guidelines daily. They may suggest that you watch and complete our online courses within the first week of implementation. This is all to help you become a super-user on the most dynamic EHR technology on the market right now.
Remember, we’re not just talking about getting a new iPhone or laptop. We’re talking about implementing a digital assistant into your professional practice. By taking full advantage of award-winning customer service and top-notch educators and coaches, your entire practice could be set up for success like never before.
We look forward to answering any and all questions you have about our client onboarding teams. Reach out to a client specialist today, and learn how we can modernize your practice.