Failing to adequately plan for and manage change on the scale of an EHR implementation can send the cost of change soaring.
Effective change management starts at the beginning, with a thorough analysis of existing processes, to provide clarity up front about what works and what doesn’t.
This enables informed choices when considering updates to the hardware infrastructure or changes to record-keeping processes. Wisely investing this time up front will help minimize office downtime and implementation costs later.
Given the scope and complexity of an EHR deployment, you’ll need more than a standard IT project plan to ensure a successful rollout. Your project plan should cover every important activity and major milestone.
Give yourself the time to analyze, implement, train, and practice—and then take it step by step. Think through the entire process, articulate your needs to your vendor and build in a thorough follow-up phase to make sure everything is running smoothly.
The four key areas of change management to help your practice ensure a smoother transition are:
• Assessment: Careful assessment of existing processes and infrastructure is essential to putting your practice in a strong position to support a new EHR system.
• Resources: Managing resources well ensures you’ll build a capable team with a strong leader and responsive vendor.
• Accountability: Clearly assigned roles and responsibilities provide accountability throughout the project and build commitment at every level.
• Logistics: A well-thought-out plan can minimize the risk of missteps in an inherently complicated, time-intensive process.
EHR implementation has the potential to be an arduous, drawnout and expensive process—but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and effective change management, your team can make a streamlined transition that will ultimately benefit both your practice and your patients, from back-office operations to quality of care.