Implementing a new EHR system can be a challenging and frustrating experience for many practices.
While the perfect implementation process may seem impossible, avoiding common EHR mistakes can help protect your clinic from costly errors and unnecessary heartache.
Taking the time to carefully plan and proactively avoid EHR mistakes focuses on what you actually need for your clinic and leaves aside the rest.
Implementation mistakes and fixes
Remember, many errors are preventable with some common-sense research, due diligence, and vendor questions. Taking advantage of the resources available to you will help you have a more successful and stress-free implementation.
Here are eight common implementation mistakes: ¹ ²
1. Looking too much at features and ignoring your practice’s goals.
Helping your clinic is only reason you probably chose EHR system in the first place. You have specific goals for your practice. It makes sense, then, to find the right EHR system to help you accomplish your goals.
Instead of starting with specific “must have” features, begin by figuring out what you plan to accomplish with a new EHR system. Then, ask vendors to help you understand how their software will help you. Comparing their answers may help you make your decision.
2. Not pushing through the rough patches with your staff or coworkers.
Your new system may have a really sharp learning curve. For a while, some members of your team may really hate the new system. Making sure everyone has the training they need can help you all persevere.
3. Not following best practices. Or, ignoring due diligence.
Best practices are not just good ideas, they also help protect your practice from liability issues. Have the right technical support, do your own research, ask plenty of questions, and protect the security and privacy of patient data.
4. Placing the wrong person in charge.
Be careful of who you have in charge of selecting software, implementation, and training. Maybe you are not a technical person, but you still need to ensure that whoever is responsible for managing your business is involved in implementation.
If you manage your clinic’s operations yourself, try and take an active role in the process and avoid leaving everything to your vendor without asking key questions. You need to know what is happening, when, and why. That is how you protect yourself and avoid costly delays.
5. Not building a good relationship with your vendor, or choosing the wrong vendor altogether.
Finding a great vendor that communicates effectively with you, understands chiropractic care, and provides helpful service is a key part of the implementation process. The wrong vendor can make your implementation experience downright miserable.
To pick the best vendor for you, be sure to read user reviews and ask your vendor about their customer service and technical support ratings. Ask them how they help their customers when something goes terribly wrong.
6. Planning to use mobile devices but choosing software that is not mobile-friendly.
Accessing EHR with tablets or smartphones is becoming more common. If you plan to use mobile devices with your new software, be sure to choose a system that supports mobile access while providing the robust security and privacy features you really need.
7. Throwing away the roadmap.
Something bad happens during the implementation process, so you decide to throw away the map and travel without any navigation. Later on, trying to figure out the implementation yourself without following directions causes you to get lost and confused.
Avoid getting lost by asking your vendor for help, following implementation directions exactly and rejecting the temptation to take shortcuts.
8. Picking the wrong software.
Of course, choosing the wrong EHR for your practice is also a huge mistake. Preventing this requires carefully reviewing your software options and making a decision based on an analysis of your office’s needs.
Plan, Process and Action
The biggest mistakes may arise from failing to plan appropriately or ask the right questions. EHR systems are a significant financial and time investment for many practices, so you should take the process very seriously. If you do not know where to begin, healthIT.gov offers a step-by-step implementation guide to get you started.
- Gordon, L. “10 Implementation Mistakes to Avoid.” WRS Health. https://www.wrshealth.com/sites/default/files/images/PDF/10ImplementationMistakes_WRSHealth.pdf. Accessed: June 2017
- Miliard, M. “8 mistakes that make EHRs less effective.” Healthcare IT News. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/slideshow/8-mistakes-make-ehrs-less-effective?page=1. Published: November 2014. Accessed: June 2017