There are so many challenges that come from any new organizational change. Implementation of a new EHR/EMR has many diverse challenges. Here are what I consider three organizational challenges that practices have had to deal with.
Capital for purchase of a new EHR/EMR system
EHR/EMRs are not exactly on the low dollar side. Many single provider offices have trouble gaining the capital to purchase a fully functional system. Yes, I know the incentive money is to help with offsetting the cost. However, this is an upfront cost. Many single and multi-practice offices have already scaled back the work force to a lean amount. Also, any reduction in patient volume will hurt the bottom line and the ability to continue to make payments on any system.
Implementation of EHR/EMR
The reduction in the work force (from number one) plays a significant role in this challenge with the lack of support staff and time. If you have already decreased your staffing, you are now understaffed to install and implement a successful EHR/EMR. You have two choices at this point. You can negotiate that you will have the go-live support for your implementation and probably looking at another fee for that. Or you might want to consider hiring an EMR/EHR healthcare consultant.
This has always been one of the largest problems with any change, not just an EHR/EMR. People in general do not like change. Many would say I don’t like change for the sake of change. Agreed, changing something just to change it makes no sense at all. This is not one of those times; this is a change for the better. How do you get that acceptance from the stakeholders, the physicians and the staff? You need a marketing plan. You need a champion. You need believers in the change. You need your team from the president down to the check-in person to believe in this change. With proper training and workflow analysis you will gain that acceptance. Training is critical to acceptance. People want to know that a job can still be completed in the same amount of time if not faster with this change. After all, a real change represents a new or better way of conducting business.