Five Tips for a Successful EHR Transition

In the emergency department (ED), efficient workflow processes and procedures are critical factors to patient safety, experience, satisfaction and so much more. One workflow tool that largely impacts department efficiency is the EHR system.

After answering questions such as, do the tracking boards encourage provider efficiency, what is the ordering process and how is charting approached, some hospitals find that it is best to transition into a completely new EHR system that will mirror current work flow processes, or customize their current system.

Transitioning into a new system, even when it will produce more efficient workflows, is a daunting task. Much thought, time and preparation goes into an EHR transition. Amy Katnik, Chief Operation Officer at ApolloMD, provides five tips to remember for successful EHR transition planning.

Effective communication can be the determining factor in a successful transition.

When planning an EHR transition, there are a lot of parties involved. Remembering to communicate consistently with each party is important. Hospital administration, department leadership and the providers should know what is expected during both pre and post go-live.

Know your vendor capabilities.

Knowing what capabilities your current and future vendor will have when transitioning is especially important. Any weaknesses should be addressed early which should help with any setbacks that may arise.

Training makes for smooth transitions.

Do not skip out on provider training. A brief, one-day, two-hour overview will not be enough training for the providers. Think about planning the training in phases with a vendor representative and established physician champion present. For example:

  • initial skills assessment three months before go-live
  • basic skills training two months before go-live
  • application specific training one week before go-live

In addition, be sure to provide a summary or outline of the key workflow changes during the application training so anyone who is unsure how to perform a specific task has a quick reference.

Double check workflow processes.

Analyze all existing workflow processes and look closely for opportunities to improve efficiency. While the goal of the new EHR system is to improve workflow, it may not be the only answer. Explore all processes and use this time to redesign the broken ones.

Go-live doesn’t mean the process is over.

Plan regular meetings in the months following go-live to address any specific issues as they arise. Continue to communicate with all teams, provide updates and encourage feedback. EHR transition is a lengthy process, reward the providers and team members for a successful transition. Lastly, measure and assess all critical success factors.

A simple, fast, provider-friendly EHR system can drastically improve workflow and provider performance. Find out what EHR changes UNC Lenior Health Care made that led to reducing LWBS rates by downloading the most recent whitepaper.

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