I recently read a really interesting and informative article called “Five Reasons Why EHR Implementations Fail.” My only problem with this post is that it focuses too much on the negative. Too many doctors (and all clinical staff) are looking for reasons to have their EHR fail and not enough of them are looking at the reasons why an EHR implementation will succeed.
Therefore, here’s my 5 reasons why your EHR implementation will succeed.
There are amazing trainers out there that have gone through hundreds of successful EHR implementations. Make the time for staff to utilize one of these trainers and you’ll see amazing results in implementing an EHR. Soon after implementing your EHR you’ll wonder how you practiced medicine without an EHR.
Realistic Implementation Schedule
Create a realistic implementation schedule and stick to it. Be open to modifying the schedule as needed, but don’t let excuses get in the way of your plans. Everyone is always busy. Staying on schedule is more about making the EHR implementation a priority. Make it a priority and you’ll have no problem staying on schedule. Also, remember that you don’t have to bite everything off at once. Take it in stages and celebrate the milestones you achieve.
Succeed Despite Challenges
Tons of unrealistic expectations exist around the benefits of EHR implementations. One clear expectation is that every EHR implementation has unique challenges. However, thousands of doctors have faced these challenges and successfully implemented an EHR despite the challenges. There’s no reason you can’t overcome your own unique challenges as well.
Forget About Timing
Certainly there are some times that are better than others for implementing an EHR. You know your practice and should schedule your EHR implementation during a slower time for the practice. However, once you’ve made the decision to implement don’t dwell on the timing, but instead focus on ways you’ll overcome whatever challenges happen because of timing. Reminds me of a common phrase said about marriage, “Before marriage keep both eyes open. After marriage keep both eyes closed.” Apply the same conviction to implementing an EHR and you’ll be amazed by the results.
Create Clinical Buy-In
Each situation is unique, but don’t be surprised if some of your most ardent opponents turn out to be some of your most powerful users. The person complaining about an EHR implementation are probably the same people that are complaining about finding paper charts and illegible charting. An EHR does amazing things to solve these problems. Focus on these types of benefits and it’s very likely that you’ll have more clinical buy-in than you’d have every expected.
We too often focus on the challenges of an EHR implementation that people easily ignore some of the many reasons why your EHR implementation will succeed. I guess my point is that the glass is half full if you want it to be.