Top three EHR/EMR Implementation Challenges
There are so many challenges that come from any new organizational change. Implementation of a new EHR/EMR has many diverse challenges. What are covered in this blog are the top three organizational challenges that practices have had to deal with.
- Capital for purchase of a new EHR/EMR system
EHR/EMRs are not exactly on the low dollar side. Many single provider offices have trouble gaining the capital to purchase a fully functional system. Yes, I know the incentive money is to help with offsetting the cost. However, this is an upfront cost. Many single and multi-practice offices have already scaled back the work force to a lean amount. Also, any reduction in patient volume will hurt the bottom line and the ability to continue to make payments on any system.
- Implementation of EHR/EMR
The reduction in the work force (from number one) plays a significant role in this challenge with the lack of support staff and time. If you have already decreased your staffing, you are now understaffed to install and implement a successful EHR/EMR. You have two choices at this point. You can negotiate that you will have the go-live support for your implementation and probably looking at another fee for that. Or you can hire a healthcare consultant. Hiring a healthcare consultant in this case is a great idea. It presents its own unique set of challenges as well. Be on the lookout for an upcoming white paper that talks about the cost of a healthcare consultant. That white paper will explain to you the return on investment you will get from hiring the right firm and EHR consultant to help you with your implementation.
This has always been one of the largest problems with any change, not just an EHR/EMR. People in general do not like change. Many would say I don’t like change for the sake of change. Agreed, changing something just to change it makes no sense at all. This is not one of those times; this is a change for the better. How do you get that acceptance from the stakeholders, the physicians and the staff? You need a marketing plan. You need a champion. You need believers in the change. You need your team from the president down to the check-in person to believe in this change. With proper training and workflow analysis you will gain that acceptance. Training is critical to acceptance. People want to know that a job can still be completed in the same amount of time if not faster with this change. After all, a real change represents a new or better way of conducting business.
These are just three of the problems that seem to be very common with most medical facilities today. These challenges also seem to happen in the sequence as listed above. It is our hope that this helps you navigate your own change efforts more effectively. If you are in the midst of this process and would like to talk with someone about where you are and where you are going, give us a call or send us an email. Medical Management Services would be happy to talk with you.