I am ready to use EMR, but my staff is not onboard

EMR-resistant staff can be a major hurdle in successful implementation. Let’s discuss some of the reasons staff can be less than happy about your decision to use electronic medical records, and how you can help them see the value of using them.

1. “Our current paper system works fine; why do we have to change?”

People will always question the need for change, especially when it is perceived that the there is no personal benefit derived from the change.  The staff must understand how transitioning to electronic charting enables them to do their job more efficiently.  You will not receive the same excitement about EMRs by telling the staff the financial benefits as you will the practical benefits.

Every staff member will recognize the personal benefits of immediate chart retrieval as they have all had the experience of “hunting” for a lost chart.  Another point of frustration in paper charting is interpreting various handwriting styles; charting electronically solves this issue.  A third key point is the ability to auto-populate the fields in the Rx Lab Order and the transfer of diagnosis and procedure codes from the exam room to the fee slip at checkout.

Rebecca Johnson is the Director of Education for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

2.  “I am not computer-savvy.”

It is common to find a generational challenge with new technology.  While a portion of staff members have grown up emailing, texting and using the internet as their first choice for information, you could have staff members who are very uncomfortable using computers.  It is crucial to use baby-steps with these individuals and patiently provide the extra support they need to become confident in charting electronically.

3.  “Paper chart documentation is much faster.”

When beginning to use an EMR system it will take more time to document until you get past the learning curve.  That is a fact that must be accepted and planned for.  Not only is the whole clinical staff learning a new way of documentation, every patient that comes in the door, both established and new, must have all of their patient history entered into the EMR system.  The great news is that after the first visit, the patient’s history automatically pulls forward for quick review and update.

A suggestion is to use ExamWRITER only on new patients for 2-3 weeks before going 100% live with ExamWRITER.  Using this method the staff feels “out of their element” only with new patients and can go back into their paper chart comfort zone for established patients.  After using ExamWRITER on new patients for 2-3 weeks the transition to electronically charting all patient encounters will be easier as the program will be more familiar.

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