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Practice Management: Five Steps to Incorporate EMA into Your Practice

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“I learn so much during initial training, but then I struggle with finding time to practice using EMA after the lessons. What can I do?”

As a software educator at Modernizing Medicine, I hear this frequently from busy providers. Maybe you can relate?

Practice management is not only an integral part of the day-to-day operations of your medical practice, but also a vital component of EMA implementation. New technology can be daunting for most – if not all – busy physicians. Now add seeing patients, running a business, endless government compliance programs – plus your personal life – and it can feel overwhelming.

At Modernizing Medicine, experienced Software Educators help make the transition to using our Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™) as seamless as possible. Practice is key, and you can only maximize what you are taught through repetition. Don’t look at it as homework! The equation is simple: More use = Better efficiencies. Practice doesn’t necessarily lead to perfection, but it does lead to confidence and improved efficiencies, which are essential when incorporating new technology.

You may be thinking: “How on Earth can I run a medical practice, attend training sessions and have time to become more proficient using EMA?” Here are five simple steps you can take to stay motivated while incorporating your personal practice system into your schedule.

1. BREAK IT DOWN

And I’m not talking about doing the robot at your next office party. Your training sessions are segmented for a reason and your follow-up practice should be too. Repeating the same content multiple times over several days and weeks is referred to as “distributed practice.” The more you repeat it, the more you learn. Distributed practice works best if the material is reviewed within 24 hours of the lesson since it allows you to better retain the material for long-term use. So forget about cramming!

2. DISCONNECT

If you’re dedicating time to practice what you learned, you must fully commit. This means disconnecting from emails, phone calls, social media, etc. If you’re able to, designate one person in the office to stay on top off all communication during your 15-30 minute practice block and avoid distractions as much as possible during this retention period.

3. DISCOVER YOUR LEARNING STYLE

Hold a meeting with your office staff and decide which learning style works for you. Ask questions such as, “Are you an individual learner? Would you prefer practicing on your own for 30 minutes before or after your shift? Do you feel more comfortable in a group setting? Would role-playing be effective?” There is no right or wrong answer. Just as our EMA electronic health record (EHR) software is specialty specific, so should your learning style be; tailor-made to fit you and your practice.

4. HOLD EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE

Once you have discovered your learning style, stick to it. No two days in a medical practice are the same, so you might have to alter your schedule from time-to-time and that’s perfectly ok! Ask employees how they feel about learning the EHR software, discuss your strengths and weaknesses and encourage each other. Motivate and most importantly hold each other accountable. There is generally one tech savvy person in each office that grasps the information a bit faster than others. Encourage them to be the go-to person if you are unavailable.

5. GET EXCITED!

Look at the big picture and remember why you started in the first place. Unlike the age-old school days saying, ”When will I use this in real life?” you are learning practical software skills that you use everyday! EMA is equipped with top-class tools and medical knowledge. The more proficiently you use EMA, the more efficient you’ll be able to be, which means leaving the office sooner. Every minute counts! Rest assured that in addition to overall practice improvement, you’ll also refine patient care, safety and efficiency. I cannot think of a better motivator.

To learn more about Modernizing Medicine’s training options and support services, click here.


 

Chantel Kelly is a Software Educator at Modernizing Medicine.