One of the universal truths about EHR software is that if you don’t get user buy-in, your EHR efforts will fail. You may even complete your EHR implementation, but not having user buy-in will wreak havoc on your ability to use the EHR to improve your organization. The failures may not be immediately apparent, but you can be sure your users will cause it to fail if they haven’t bought into the project.
On the other hand, organizations that do get end user buy-in to their EHR generally see great results.
The best way to ensure end user buy-in to EHR is through great leadership. This is highlighted in this whitepaper Leadership Insights: Gaining Value from Technology Investments, but what can leaders do to help create EHR buy-in with their organization?
One key to ensuring organizational buy-in is to set clear goals. Ideally these goals are created collaboratively with your team. However, it is most important that your EHR goals are attractive to your end users. If the end users are interested and excited about the goals you’ve set for the EHR project, then they’re more likely to support the project. Plus, setting these goals gives the project an important guide when you’re faced with tough decisions. Not to mention these goals serve as the perfect way to evaluate the success or failure of the EHR post-implementation.
Another way to ensure EHR buy-in from your end users is to invest in effectively training those users. There are a lot of skills a doctor needs to see patients effectively. Learning to use an EHR effectively is a learnable skill as well. However, you must invest in training that ensures end users have the skills they need to be effective EHR users. Effective training is a powerful way to improve EHR buy-in within your organization even if you have a less than perfect workflow.
Implementing an EHR often requires a change to your organization’s workflow. Many organizations postpone these workflow changes until after the initial implementation. They see this as a phased approach to the changes brought on by a new EHR. If you’ve done this, don’t forget to go back and reevaluate your current workflow against the new opportunities available in the EHR. You’ll often discover new workflows that will better serve your users and patients.
Finally, cultivating a group of peer champions for your EHR is a great way to get EHR buy-in. These peer champions can be there when challenging situations arise that need to be resolved. As advanced users, they can share solutions to problems with their peers in a powerful way that can’t be replicated by support desks.
The one theme across all of these ideas is having a great leader who understands their end users needs and then empowers them to be successful. Each of the above are just strategies a leader can employ to better understand, empower, and assist their end users to successfully use their EHR.
What other strategies do you use in your organization to gain EHR buy-in? What have been the consequences to organizations that haven’t spent the time and money to get buy-in? What could they and should they have done differently? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Learn more about the Breakaway Thinking blog series sponsor, Breakaway Learning Solutions, and download their FREE whitepaper “Leadership Insights: Gaining Value from Technology Investments.”