Many practices face EHR implementation challenges. But a smooth EHR implementation process can help you integrate your EHR into your practice faster and prevent EHR burnout. To ensure your EHR is successful, it helps to be aware of common EHR implementation challenges. That way, you can make a plan to prevent them.
Here are the top 5 EHR implementation challenges and how to avoid them.
EHR Implementation Challenge 1: Inadequate Planning
Implementing a new EHR can be a complex and expensive project. Without a detailed project plan and a strong leader to guide you through the plan, your EHR implementation can quickly fall behind or go over budget. A strong project plan will help you stay on track.
Developing a detailed project plan takes time. But that investment pays off in clear timelines and adherence to an agreed-upon budget. The planning phase of your EHR implementation project also lets you gather input from key stakeholders in your practice. By involving staff and providers early, you can prevent frustration with your new system down the road.
Your project planwill identify key milestones and provide a clear path for achieving those milestones. This includes resources and staffing. Your staff members and contractors will know who handles each task and how to communicate problems. A strong project plan will also identify likely risks to your project. This helps you plan for issues before they occur, saving you time.
EHR Implementation Challenge 2: Poor Communication
EHR implementation will require a team effort. Your project team may include contractors and staff who rarely work together. Poor communication among your project team or between your project team and your practice leadership can cause errors, delays, and increased costs.
You can help your EHR implementation project run more smoothly by establishing clear lines of communication upfront. Everyone involved in your project, including stakeholders, should know where to go to get information or to report issues. You can use regular updates or dashboards to keep stakeholders and project leadership informed without overwhelming them.
Identifying a Project Manager can also help clarify lines of communication. A Project Manager can be a staff member or a contractor. This person will create, update, and monitor adherence to the project plan. Your Project Manager will be the day-to-day project leader and will streamline communication both within your project team and between your project team and the rest of your practice.
EHR Implementation Challenge 3: Limited Technical Resources
Many small and solo practices lack the technical resources to implement a new EHR. From development and testing to data conversions, you will need technical expertise to get your EHR up and running smoothly. Third parties like TempDev can provide technical resources to help you convert your existing data and customize your EHR.
Converting data from your existing EHR or legacy systems can be complicated. And errors can create costly confusion when delivering patient care. Experts like TempDev’s developers can help you properly import your existing data into your new EHR.
EHRs come with many templates and reports to help you enter and view data. But most practices need to customize their EHR system to meet their workflows or needs. Customization can help make your EHR easier for your staff to use, boosting your efficiency and preventing staff burnout. But this customization requires technical skills. If your practice does not have in-house development expertise, you can hire developers from third parties like TempDev to help you plan, develop, and test custom EHR features.
EHR Implementation Challenge 4: Lack of Attention to Usability
To get the most out of your EHR, your system needs to be easy for providers and staff to use EHR usability is a major driver of physician burnout. An easy-to-use system reduces provider and staff burden and frustration. By attending to usability during EHR implementation, you can prevent burnout and increase system satisfaction.
Some EHR systems are more user-friendly than others. If you start with a user-friendly EHR, like NextGen, you will need less development time to adjust interfaces and templates. You can also increase your EHR system’s usability by including providers and staff who will use the system every day in your planning, development, and testing processes.
Your EHR also needs to be integrated into your workflows. When implementing an EHR, analyze and adjust your workflows to make it as easy as possible for providers to enter the data you need during each office visit. Key workflows to address include appointment scheduling, office visits, and coding and billing.
EHR Implementation Challenge 5: Insufficient or Poorly Targeted Training
Training plays a critical role in any successful EHR implementation. Like usability, training reduces the likelihood of EHR-driven burnout. All staff who will use your EHR system should receive training tailored to their job requirements before EHR rollout.
EHR training should cover both the EHR system and the workflows associated with it. Staff will need to be trained in any workflow changes to ensure smooth operation of your practice. Dividing staff into specific functions, like front desk, billing, operations, and clinical, can help you target EHR and workflow training. Targeting helps prevent information overload and ensures that each staff member knows how to complete their daily tasks. You can train a few staff members more broadly in your EHR system to serve as super-users. These in-house experts can be invaluable in helping providers and staff navigate your new EHR system.
How TempDev Can Help Resolve EHR Implementation Challenges
TempDev can support your practice with all aspects of your NextGen EHR implementation. From project management and data conversion to workflow redesign and training, TempDev has the expertise you need to make your new EHR a success. If your practice is facing EHR implementation challenges, call TempDev today.
Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here to get started with your EHR implementation.
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