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Learning by Doing: A Model that Works in EHR Training – Breakaway Thinking

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The following is a guest blog post by Todd Stansfield from The Breakaway Group (A Xerox Company). Check out all of the blog posts in the Breakaway Thinking series.
Todd Stansfield
I didn’t learn to change the oil in my car until I changed it. My father instructed me a dozen times, and I watched him a dozen more, but it wouldn’t resonate until I got my hands dirty. I can count an endless number of other tasks that never stuck with me after reading about them in a textbook or hearing about them in a classroom. Some things I need to learn by doing; and I’m not alone.

Why is changing oil different from learning about the Roman Empire? Even years after taking history in college, I still know the story of Romulus and Remus. I can tell that story with the help of a knowledgeable friend, someone to nudge me along as I weave through a non-linear narrative. But when you’re changing oil, you can’t begin at the end, jump to the start, and then fill in the middle details. It’s a linear task with a clear beginning and end, and the workflow impacts the outcome. Changing the oil in a car isn’t life-or-death, but placing an order in an electronic health record (EHR) does impact the lives of patients.

For decades, healthcare has relied on Instructor-Led Training, or ILT, as its answer to education. More hours in the classroom equals a more informed and prepared workforce. It’s the same model supported by our nation’s education system. This would be fine, except that the learning outcomes are vastly different. Where a history class, for instance, aims to teach learners to know something, a hospital class aims to teach learners to know how to do something. Clinicians enrolled in a three-day training session must emerge with the ability to place a medication order using the EHR—a single task that may require upwards of 30 clicks on the computer.

Because actions in an EHR impact the lives of patients, an education model with hands-on, simulator-based training is better suited for teaching health professionals the proper use of an EHR. Perhaps this need is best described by Charles Fred, Group President of Xerox’s Healthcare Provider Solutions division. Mr. Fred is the founder and former CEO of The Breakaway Group, a company providing simulation based training to prominent healthcare organizations across the United States and internationally.

“Consider the value of teaching caregivers to use EHRs through role-based simulators,” he wrote in an article for the American Society of Training and Development. “Simulation provides an opportunity to practice in a real-life environment without real-life risks and consequences. Caregivers learn inside their actual EHR application, which is critical for learning workflow and gaining new knowledge about the system. They only learn tasks that are applicable to their role.” (Source: Fred, Charles. “Driving the Transition to Electronic Health Records.” Training + Development. American Society for Training & Development. Alexandria: 2012, Print.)

Simulation-based education solves many of ILT’s limitations. For starters, the simulations are based online and allow the learner, rather than the trainer, to perform the task. Providers and clinicians can learn to place an order by performing the task directly in a simulated EHR. They may do so at their leisure, from their computer at home, at work, or even at a local coffee shop if they prefer. As long as there’s an Internet connection, they may train until they’re proficient. Simulation-based training also saves money spent on the herculean effort to jam too many professionals into too few classrooms. Another benefit is that it’s more accessible. The simulations exist as long as they are needed and can be upgraded to reflect changes in workflows. Where ILT provides a training event, simulation-based education provides a sustainable solution for ensuring the EHR provides clinical value to the organization. Simulation-based education shortens the learning curve for healthcare providers and allows staff members to train more quickly so they can focus on their core responsibility – their patients.

A combination of simulation-based education followed by ILT can be used to achieve better results. The chief benefit of classroom training is that it provides a venue for social interaction and the exchange of ideas, but this is best leveraged when participants have confidence and knowledge in using an EHR. Simulation-based education makes this possible. After completing role-specific simulations, participants arrive to the classroom already proficient in using the EHR. They are engaged before class even begins. What could have been banter about the next break is now a meaningful conversation about best practices and ways to improve processes. Social interaction can now be leveraged to improve education. What’s more, because participants already have a foundation of knowledge and ability in the system, the training can now focus on teaching participants to complete more complex tasks and workflows. It can also devote more time to independent practice (the most conducive form of learning).

While healthcare’s focus on training hasn’t changed, the industry itself has experienced a whirlwind of evolution. Why then, amidst all the evolution, must providers and clinicians rely on an outdated education model?

Xerox is a sponsor of the Breakaway Thinking series of blog posts.

March 19, 2014 I Written By

Healthcare Super Bowl – Winning with EHR Adoption – Breakaway Thinking

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The following is a guest blog post by Jennifer Bergeron, Learning and Development Manager at The Breakaway Group (A Xerox Company). Check out all of the blog posts in the Breakaway Thinking series.
Jennifer_web

The most important – and most vulnerable – connection between strategy and execution is the actual performance of people.

~ Charles Fred, Breakaway

It’s the end of football season and the Super Bowl, the game that determines the best team in the country, wait – in the world – will be played February 2 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The more I learn about the game, the more impressive the depth of leadership, preparation, strength, training, and split-second adaption the sport involves.

Clinicians need to be just as prepared for their own Super Bowl where they score touchdowns by improving patient care, meeting government regulations, and increasing efficiency related to their use of the best technologies. Electronic health record usage is a large part of the government’s Meaningful Use initiative. As of July 2013, 82% of hospitals successfully achieved Stage 1 Meaningful Use and continue to work to adopt EHR technology. How can providers and hospitals support their teams toward EHR success?

Engaged Leadership

First, let’s take a cue from Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers who said that “individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

A group is brought together by the leaders whether it’s the coach, a foreman, or an executive team. In the healthcare setting, the right tone for any change is set at the top of the organization. When adopting a major change like an EHR, leadership has the responsibility of making a game plan, getting the best people involved, and finding the right EHR education solution to help them succeed.

Education

Which brings us to training and education. Rod Marinelli, currently of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers says, “I love coaching young players and it starts with the staff that understands how to teach.” When taking on the challenge of introducing a new EHR, a hospital needs a good plan with the right trainers. A good program doesn’t try to teach every intricacy of a play in detail in order to prepare for every scenario on the field.

The same concept applies to a hospital adopting a new EHR. Dr. Heather Haugen, Managing Director at The Breakaway Group, A Xerox Company, has done significant research on EHR adoption. In Beyond Implementation: A Prescription for Lasting EMR Adoption,Dr. Haugen states that “we know from nearly nine decades of research about adult learning that humans do not learn without a natural progression from discovery through experience. The average human brain is a very poor storage device for information and data, unless that information is recalled and reinforced immediately by experiential activities.” Rather than memorization of facts and workflows, a more efficient way to learn an EHR is through simulations of those workflows. Teach the process and decision-making and the learner creates their own pathways to making the right moves.

Metrics

How do we know that the leadership coaching and the simulation training are working? By measuring the results. In football, the final score is what matters. As 20-season wide receiver Jerry Rice says, each person must take the necessary steps to reach the goal. In his words, “today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” Making big changes to process is difficult in execution and in motivation. But by employing the right leadership team as the “coach” along with the proper training and education, when EHR adoption is measured, the right results are possible.

Keeping Pace with Change – Sustainment

After implementing a new EHR application, it would be a mistake to assume that everything would stay the same day-to-day. Adopting an EHR rather than simply implementing an EHR indicates that an organization uses and depends on the system to make them better and more efficient. (Implementation implies only usage of the system, which leaves room for inefficiency and work-arounds.)

Once adoption is reached, it’s a continual process to stay at that level. With staff turnover, changes to software applications, and process updates, coaching, training, and keeping score fall into a plan of sustainment or the ability to keep pace with change. In the football world, Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach calls it dedication: “confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something…hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” It takes continual effort to continually strive for improvement.

The Final Score

To reach the goals of excellent patient care, timeliness, efficiency, and to meet government regulations, each of these four elements must a priority, which is the definition of The Breakaway Method: Engaged Leadership, Education, Metrics, and Keeping Pace with Change. All of the pieces must be in play in order to make the most of any organization. Just as in football, the coaching staff, training program, measurements of results, and changes that meet each week’s challenges are critical.

Football does teach us that the road to success is long, to maintain success is hard, but winning is the name of the game.

Xerox is a sponsor of the Breakaway Thinking series of blog posts.

January 15, 2014 I Written By

Healthcare Innovation in a Brave New World – Breakaway Thinking

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The following is a guest blog post by Carrie Yasemin Paykoc, Senior Instructional Designer at The Breakaway Group (A Xerox Company). Check out all of the blog posts in the Breakaway Thinking series.
Carrie Yasemin Paykoc
Healthcare providers are faced with a two-pronged challenge of satisfying government regulations and being profitable within a competitive and dynamic marketplace. Organizations that prosper take advantage of what’s going on in Washington and offer innovative products and services to their patient population. At the forefront of healthcare innovation is utilizing data from Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to provide better and more affordable care while preventing medical errors.

The November edition of United Airlines’ Hemisphere magazine highlighted several leading American hospitals that demonstrate innovative approaches to healthcare. The article addresses legislative pressures that hospitals face and the need for transparency as patients seek the best treatments and services across larger geographical boundaries. Many of the top performing hospitals utilize consultants outside of healthcare to obtain fresh perspectives and remain competitive. At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Dr. John Perentesis, co-director of the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, shares collaboration with “…consultants in the airline and nuclear power industries reduce errors in human factors. In many ways, the hospital is similar to a United Airlines cockpit.”  Other hospitals pursue innovation by implementing the most advanced procedures and techniques to provide advanced patient-centric healthcare.

The comparison of healthcare with the airline industry or any other service industry is not too far-fetched. In fact, the founder of The Breakaway Group, Charles Fred, brought his experience in the aerospace industry to help healthcare organizations and providers transition from paper records to electronic systems. The Breakaway Group utilizes targeted role-based simulations to help clinicians rapidly learn new healthcare software systems. Simulation learning was a commonly used method when the aviation industry transitioned from analog to digital systems. This is only one example of the many innovations that occur when incorporating an outside perspective. Whoever thought we would use 3-D printers for facial transplant reconstruction?[1] Pretty amazing.

Furthermore, as healthcare organizations start to look inward and analyze their EHR data, it may be helpful to continue to look outward to other industries. In his article, The Data Drive Society, author and M.I.T. professor Alex Pentland[2] discusses the digital breadcrumbs left behind by individuals going about their daily lives, the free flow of information and ideas outside of our immediate social networks, and the power and responsibility behind analyzing this data.  Essentially, every time we make a transaction, update our Facebook status, or send a text message, we leave a digital breadcrumb. Over time, these breadcrumbs create a dynamic social map. This map could be used to design improved systems for the government and even for healthcare to operate in a more efficient and effective manner. However, with access to data lies responsibility. Pentland argues that although we could access every single digital breadcrumb available about a population, we might need to ask for permission. Individuals should have the right to control their own data and opt out of sharing their information.

So as healthcare begins to remove barriers to accessing and analyzing data from EHRs, we may need to circle back to our legislative body to ensure individual data rights are protected. Although open access to patient data appears to be the ultimate solution, in actuality, it is only the beginning and requires deeper thought. We must balance the desire to analyze and innovate with respect for individual data rights; otherwise classical novels such as George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World may foreshadow the future inevitability of our society.

But all is not so dire. Go forth and collaborate with outside experts and historians to develop and design solutions for healthcare in the 21st century and beyond.  Be bold. Be innovative. Just don’t forget the ethical stuff.


[2] The author, Alex “Sandy” directs the M.I.T. Human Dynamics Laboratory and co-leads the World Economic Forum’s big data and personal data initiatives.

Xerox is a sponsor of the Breakaway Thinking series of blog posts.

December 18, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Resident EMR Training, FDA EMR Regulation, and MEDITECH Twitter

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I bet 5 hours is generous for resident EHR training. It’s amazing how training a resident on an EHR is almost an afterthought. I partially understand it since the residents have so many things to learn, but EHR will become a standard part of that training. I live right next to a medical school and it’s amazing to hear the stories of these residents doing rotations at clinics with EHR. Most prefer it, but they don’t get much training.


Is the FDA regulating EHRs? Other than the guidance they put out recently for health applications, I haven’t seen them do much more as far as regulating EHR software. Although, after seeing this and reading a tweet from Farzad suggesting that the FDA should leave EHR “regulation” to the ONC framework, I wonder if something else is brewing. What have you seen or heard?


I didn’t think this tweet was that significant, but it was the first time I remember seeing MEDITECH participating in social media. In fact, I’m trying to remember where I’ve seen MEDITECH participating in any of the national conversations. For such a large EHR vendor, they sure have kept a low profile. I feel like I get around, and I have yet to meet a MEDITECH person. I can’t say that for many EHR vendors. Of course, I look at their social media account and see they have 1,243 tweets. So, they’ve been doing something, but I’d never seen it until today. Just for reference, I have about 28,000 tweets between just my top 2 Twitter accounts.

November 10, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

EMR Implementation Training and Computer Training

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When someone comes to my clinic to see our EMR implementation, they always ask “what lessons did you learn during your EMR implementation?” It’s inevitable, and obviously a good question. One of the answers I give the most is that I was surprised at how much of the initial training was on basic computers skills and not actual EMR software training.

On that note, I got an email from Michael Archuleta of ArcSys Inc. that described some of the challenges of training before an EMR implementation including training on some of the new technologies (see tablet, convertible, laptop and EMR discussion) that might be implemented with an EMR.

First, no two medical professionals are alike. They have been taught differently and see things through different lens.

Second, people have different computer skills. Some are very adept at tackling new technology, and others are easily intimidated.

Third, the flow of work or processes differs markedly from one group to another.

Regarding observation #1: People are best trained one-on-one. Each has their own terminology and it is best to talk the same “language” of medicine.

Regarding observation #2: The doctors and medical staff are best trained on desktop computers. They are, for the most part, familiar with the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. The hand-eye coordination is a known entity. In particular, knowing how to page up or down from the keyboard. Or, how to move the cursor back and forth across a line using the arrow keys. The monitors are large and they are accustomed to how things look. They are familiar with the location of icons on the desktop. They know how to start up applications and how to close down the pc. Thus, it becomes a really good idea to understand how the application works on hardware that you know. Once you are comfortable with the application, then you can advance to new hardware.

Now, contrast this with a tablet pc. The keyboard is smaller and this usually results in hunting for the location of familiar edit keys like page up, page down, arrows, end, and home. If you are trying to learn a new application and a new keyboard layout, your frustration will skyrocket.

The monitor is smaller. You are going to be spending more time squinting. It may be time to invest some time with the eye doctor and get some new corrective lenses. Again, if you are familiar with the application, you will not be visually hunting for tiny icons.

When using a laptop you will have to use either the touchpad, eraser head, or pen for your mouse. All three require an amazing amount of finger dexterity. If you can recall your initial learning curve with the mouse, multiply that by 10 and you will have an idea of what it will be like to re-learn your mousing skills with this new technology. My recommendation would be to get a regular mouse and plug it in the USB port. It is messy with an extra cord, but is one less thing to learn. Better yet, get a wireless mouse. But, then that is also one more piece of technology…

The desktop of the tablet pc will have different icons. It is a good idea to eliminate as many as reasonable. The hard part of any laptop is knowing how to configure it. A laptop is designed to work off of batteries and thus needs to conserve energy. It will go to “dim mode” when it senses the batteries are losing their charge. It will go to “blank mode” when it decides that you haven’t touched the keyboard in a long time. What you need to know is how to bring it back to life in these (and other) circumstances. Because of these types of quirks, if you are not familiar with the application, you will become extremely frustrated and discouraged.

Regarding observation #3: Baby steps. Implement only one automated procedure at a time. Don’t flood everyone with all the bells and whistles. Make certain that everyone understands a new automated procedure before launching the next one.

August 5, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

My Least Favorite EMR Vendor Sales Line

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A feature of every EMR vendor is a whole multitude of sales lines. If you’ve ever talked to a EMR sales person, you know what I’m talking about. This isn’t really unique to EMR sales. The same can be said of most software that’s trying to solve complex problems.

Well, there’s one EMR vendor sales line that gets on my nerves more than any other line. Let’s take a demo of an EMR vendor’s templates. Now here’s the line that I absolutely abhor:

“You can make it do whatever you want.”

Hearing this is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard for me. Certainly, the intent of their comment is that the EMR template creation is really flexible (and it very well might be). However, the superlative “whatever” is just wrong. Every software system has limitations and I can guarantee you that if you really start using an EMR system you’re going to bump into those limitations.

I guess my problem is using superlatives like whatever, any, all, always, etc. is just misleading and leads to what I call EMR sales miscommunication. Anytime you hear one of those things during an EMR demo (or even during an EMR training) you better start asking lots of questions.

Of course, these superlatives do a lot better job selling EMR software. I guess that’s why I’ll never be an EMR salesperson. Maybe it’s also why people seem to like reading my EMR blog posts.

May 26, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Sink or Swim After EMR Purchase

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I find it really disturbing the number of stories I read about doctors who have purchased an EMR basically being left to ‘sink or swim’ once the EMR purchase and training process is complete. This is not always the case. Some EMR companies really take a vested interest in those who purchase their EMR software. That’s my biggest compliment of the EMR company I work with on a daily basis is that they really did care about us having a successful EMR implementation. I know a number of others who are just as vested in a clinic’s success.

Unfortunately, far too many EMR vendors don’t take a vested interest in a practice and after the purchase and initial training, the practice is basically left to finish the EHR implementation on their own. Let’s take a look at a common example of what happens:
-Clinic purchases EMR software
-Clinic spends a few days training on EMR software
-Clinic sends support request which goes unanswered
-Clinic gets answer to support request a week later

It should also be noted that the few days spent with the trainer is often untargeted and aptly described as a firehouse which mostly leaves those being trained with a huge migraine. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the clinic ends up floundering along for that week they waited to get their support request answered.

Certainly supporting a new EMR implementation is a significant challenge. Many popular EMR vendors have oversold and just don’t have the trained, skilled staff that are needed to support the number of clinics they’re bringing online. That’s not an excuse for the EMR vendor. They should still be held accountable. However, it’s helpful to understand the challenges an EMR vendor faces so you can possibly avoid them.

Like I said previously, not all EMR vendors have this challenge. This being the case, it highlights the need to talk to users of any EMR software you’re considering. Ask them about the type, speed and quality of the support they receive from the company as a current user and what support they received when implementing that EMR vendor. Also, try to talk to someone who recently implemented that EMR software. Much like a new mother forgets the pains of child birth, EMR implementation pains disappear from memory (see my previous post on EMR and Pregnancy). Plus, in most EMR companies the support and training changes over time as employees come and go. The more recent the support experience the better.

At the end of the day, an EHR implementation does require a determination to ‘sink or swim.’ However, it’s much easier to swim when you have someone throwing you a line along the way.

May 13, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Beware of Errors on Test or Demo EMR System

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I’m sure that many of my readers have experienced the awkwardness of an error happening during the demo or training of an EMR system. I’ve been on both sides of the fence (watching or doing a demo) and let’s just say it’s really uncomfortable for both sides. Those that have experienced it know that the most common explanation for the error is “This is the demo system and so we haven’t finished setting everything up.” Or in the case of the training system, “This is the training system and so with all of the people training on this system it has some errors from those training on it.”

In some cases, this is completely true. When I’m training my staff for an update to our EMR software, there has been a number of occasions where I was just too lazy to set something up on our test database and it doesn’t work quite right. So, it does happen.

The difference between myself (most of the time) and those demoing and training you on an EMR system is that I’ll make note of the problem and make sure that indeed it was something I could easily fix. If I can’t, then I escalate it to our EMR vendor for resolution before we proceed with the upgrade. Those showing you the demo or training you might do the same. However, if you’re training on the system, there’s little chance the fixes they request will be implemented before you implement the system.

Even more to the point is that far too often it’s not something to do with the test or demo system, but is often an error in the program itself. It’s a good idea to evaluate the error you saw. This can be a real challenge since the trainer is often going to blow by the error as quickly as possible. However, don’t be afraid to call them out on the error. This is going to be the heart of your practice. Make sure you really know if those errors were temporary or chronic. Nothing’s more of a pain than regular errors from your EMR software.

May 12, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

5 Reasons Your EHR Implementation Will Succeed

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I recently read a really interesting and informative article called “Five Reasons Why EHR Implementations Fail.” My only problem with this post is that it focuses too much on the negative. Too many doctors (and all clinical staff) are looking for reasons to have their EHR fail and not enough of them are looking at the reasons why an EHR implementation will succeed.

Therefore, here’s my 5 reasons why your EHR implementation will succeed.

Amazing Trainers
There are amazing trainers out there that have gone through hundreds of successful EHR implementations. Make the time for staff to utilize one of these trainers and you’ll see amazing results in implementing an EHR. Soon after implementing your EHR you’ll wonder how you practiced medicine without an EHR.

Realistic Implementation Schedule
Create a realistic implementation schedule and stick to it. Be open to modifying the schedule as needed, but don’t let excuses get in the way of your plans. Everyone is always busy. Staying on schedule is more about making the EHR implementation a priority. Make it a priority and you’ll have no problem staying on schedule. Also, remember that you don’t have to bite everything off at once. Take it in stages and celebrate the milestones you achieve.

Succeed Despite Challenges
Tons of unrealistic expectations exist around the benefits of EHR implementations. One clear expectation is that every EHR implementation has unique challenges. However, thousands of doctors have faced these challenges and successfully implemented an EHR despite the challenges. There’s no reason you can’t overcome your own unique challenges as well.

Forget About Timing
Certainly there are some times that are better than others for implementing an EHR. You know your practice and should schedule your EHR implementation during a slower time for the practice. However, once you’ve made the decision to implement don’t dwell on the timing, but instead focus on ways you’ll overcome whatever challenges happen because of timing. Reminds me of a common phrase said about marriage, “Before marriage keep both eyes open. After marriage keep both eyes closed.” Apply the same conviction to implementing an EHR and you’ll be amazed by the results.

Create Clinical Buy-In
Each situation is unique, but don’t be surprised if some of your most ardent opponents turn out to be some of your most powerful users. The person complaining about an EHR implementation are probably the same people that are complaining about finding paper charts and illegible charting. An EHR does amazing things to solve these problems. Focus on these types of benefits and it’s very likely that you’ll have more clinical buy-in than you’d have every expected.

Summary
We too often focus on the challenges of an EHR implementation that people easily ignore some of the many reasons why your EHR implementation will succeed. I guess my point is that the glass is half full if you want it to be.

February 10, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.