In part one of this blog post we covered the first steps to find the right EHR and start on the path to implementation:
- Create a full implementation plan
- Appoint a committee and/or a champion to lead the project
- Set your budget up front
Before we move to the next step there are a few more budget considerations to calculate the true “costs” of EHR implementation. Beyond the price of the software, other considerations that can add to your costs include:
- Research and testing: someone on your team will need to spend time evaluating all the EHR options out there to find the right one
- Fees included in the contract (or not): some software vendors will have additional fees for things like maintenance, software subscriptions, user licenses, and support. These fees can add up quickly so make sure you know the full costs when comparing options.
- Hardware or other tech: if you’re not planning to get a cloud-based EHR, you will need hardware and other technology, along with the IT staff, to support a server-based EHR.
- Downtime: lost productivity is inevitable during a software change, even if you plan all your major changes outside of clinic hours.
Step 4: Schedule the Implementation
Once you have determined the vendor you will choose, the next step is to schedule the implementation. Your schedule needs to include every step of implementation, who will be involved, and what activities are necessary to complete it. This includes:
- Data transfer from your old system to your new one*
- Data verification and cleanup
- Database setup
- Testing and verification
- Staff training
- Go live date
*Not every vendor includes this as part of the EHR cost, so ask up front if there is an extra cost; if you are currently using a paper system, you’ll be converting paper charts to electronic records and may need to hire a third-party agency to help.
Step 5: Staff Training
Offering the right training up front can dramatically reduce errors, increase productivity, and eliminate frustration for everyone at your clinic. Work with your vendor to figure out what training is necessary for which roles, and create a full schedule. You can designate “super users” who go through more in-depth training and can provide assistance to other staff members.
Step 6: Evaluate
Even when your EHR is live, the work isn’t quite done. It’s important to schedule some time one month, three months, and six months post-implementation to get together as a team and discuss any challenges or roadblocks people are encountering. If you discover any issues, work with the vendor to find solutions so everyone can keep using the software effectively for better patient care, and improved workflows. Identify the metrics you will measure to determine success, including:
- ROI calculations
- Data error rates
- Revenue collections as a percent of billed charges
- Revenue cycle management days in A/R
- Physician and staff satisfaction surveys
Learn More & Switch to AdvancedMD
Switching to a new EHR is a big step, but if you get it right it can dramatically improve your operations and provider satisfaction. Find out more about our industry-leading EHR by scheduling a demo with AdvancedMD today.