Like any practice-wide implementation, a successful electronic health system relies on leadership and coordination. Because an EHR system impacts an entire practice, an effective leadership team should comprise a number of individuals from practice administration to physicians, to nurses or technicians, to billing, and more, depending on the size of the practice.
This leadership team is key for a successful EHR implementation, along with one critical decision-making individual who is capable of leading that team.
Who makes the EHR Decisions?
Determining the configuration of an EHR system is no small task.While effective leadership in EHR design requires confident decision making from a focused individual, EHR decisions should be influenced by other players in the practice and their workflow needs, highlighting the importance of a leadership team as described above. Individual doctors, for example, are a critical source of valuable information for the EHR decision-making process, as their needs and challenges in an electronic system impact the entire practice.
But as demonstrated in hospitals across the U.S. (USE THIS URL: http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/blogs/mark-hagland/what-we-always-knew-ehr-implementation-it-s-about-leadership-and-vision), a single focused decision-making leader is critical to limit disorder and maximize efficacy.
Leadership in EHR Systems
The transition to electronic records in healthcare has witnessed challenges of adoption and usability, many of which are still common today. Whether implementing a new EHR system for a small practice or a large group, common complaints from providers or staff include feeling mandated to use a system that perhaps they do not enjoy using, or that they themselves would have configured differently.
Other common complaints include the concept that EHR operations are not part of a physician’s job, for instance, and that data management tasks should be allocated to specific data specialists or data entry clerks. These sentiments may lead providers to disperse EHR system tasks down to nurses, technicians, and other staff, leading to productivity bottlenecks and increased frustration.
EHR leadership helps to address these and many other challenges. Consolidating decision making to this team can minimize time and costs, and also improve the overall quality of data captured in the electronic records with standardized use.
Ways to Calm the Storm
Fortunately, there are methods of EHR implementation that create fair and realistic expectations for providers and staff in a medical practice.
One of the best ways to prevent issues stemming from frustration is to configure a custom EHR tailored to the specific needs of an individual practice. Customization can improve reception and adoption of a records system, leading to effective use.
Training is critical for a successful EHR system implementation. Some of the many decisions for the EHR leadership team are training providers and staff on the new system, deciding who will provide this training, and assigning individuals as points of contact for questions.
While an EHR leadership team should be equipped to address individual challenges as they arise, it is critical for this team and the leading individual to keep in mind “big picture” goals and management. Patient outcomes, best practices, “meaningful use,” and other practice-wide goals should always be part of the leadership team’s considerations throughout a new system implementation.
Designing a consolidated EHR takes leadership. Keeping the goals, challenges, and needs of the practice as a whole in mind, while also addressing the concerns of individuals throughout the practice’s workflow, requires thoughtful management and guidance.
At ZH Healthcare, we understand the complexity of implementation leadership and its challenges. Contact us (855-936-3367)and speak with one of our experts who will help you start the path towards a successful EHR system implementation.