Adopting an EHR is a wise move. However, the process of actually implementing it can create a lot of havoc in your medical practice. Once the transition is finished, your staff are sure to agree that it was the right thing to do. During the actual implementation period, however, things can get a little rocky. One of the best ways to ensure a smooth, streamlined EHR implementation is by selecting a member of your staff to champion the process.
Indeed, having someone manage the overall process–including getting everyone on board and comfortable with the system–is smart. The question is: Who should you select? Certain people are better suited for the job than others. Keep the following five characteristics in mind to pinpoint the member of your team that’s best suited for the task:
- Someone Who Knows Your Staff Well – It’s important to get everyone on board with the idea of switching to an EHR, and a great way to do that is by assigning each member of your staff specific duties and responsibilities to handle as the process unfolds. That way, they have something of a personal stake in the matter. Your EHR champion should therefore know each staff member and their individual capabilities and talents well. They will know which tasks to assign to which people, and they’ll also know the best way to explain various aspects of the system to each individual.
- Someone Who Will Hold Others Accountable – Assigning tasks to staff members is one thing; making sure that they follow through is another. Your ideal EHR champion will have a track record for holding people accountable for the roles to which they are assigned. They won’t be afraid to nudge employees who are falling behind, and they will make sure that staff members are spending plenty of time trying the new system and completing their assigned training tasks.
- Someone Who Will Work Closely with the Vendor – Your EHR champion should have enough flexibility to devote plenty of time to working closely with the EHR vendor. In so doing, they will develop a strong, clear understanding of the software, including technical aspects like customization, data transfer and physician verification. The right individual will be comfortable with acting as the primary point of contact between the EHR vendor and the rest of the practice, ensuring that training is delivered effectively and efficiently to each member of the team.
- Someone Who is Influential and Respected – EHR implementation is a matter of crucial importance, so it’s vital to have the support of every member of your team. The right EHR champion will be someone who is respected and admired by your entire staff. They should be known for their enthusiasm and for their proactive, forward-thinking outlook. Your champion will enthusiastically promote the benefits of transitioning to an EHR and will serve as a role model of sorts for everyone else. When your staff members see how eager your champion is to get the new system in place, they will be far more likely to support the process too.
- Someone Who is Willing to Build a Team of Leaders – Unless you have a really small practice, your EHR champion should also be willing and able to assemble a team of leaders who can provide support to members of their own teams or departments. For example, your champion might select leaders from HR, the front desk, the nursing team and so forth. That way, no one will get lost in the shuffle, and every person’s needs and concerns will be addressed more effectively.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the top characteristics of an ideal EHR champion, you probably already have at least one or two people in mind for the role. Even if you don’t, sit down and give the matter a little more thought. Someone is sure to spring to mind. At any rate, you certainly shouldn’t initiate the implementation process without one. In fact, you should have one in place well before implementation begins to help build support for the transition among staff members. With everyone behind the process and actively involved in it, it’s sure to go off without a hitch.