EMR Transition Best Practices

Switching your EMR vendor may seem like an overwhelming process, but it still may be the right thing to do.

Switching your electronic medical record (EMR) system can be expensive, time consuming, and not to mention disruptive to your entire practice. But if you are currently using a system that has become unmanageable or is negatively impacting your operations, converting could be the right solution not matter how daunting the process seems. As the industry’s

As the industry’s leading physical therapy billing and practice management and EMR software provider we have helped a lot of practices successfully get through this process. In this article we will outline some best practices to help minimize the effects on your office and provide some tips to make the transition manageable and well organized.

In this article we will outline some best practices to help minimize the effects on your office and provide some tips to make the transition manageable and well organized.

EMR Wish List

 

First, before you start your search for a new EMR platform, take some time and build an extensive wish list of features you want in your practice’s next system. Instead of allowing vendors to tell you what you want, proactively have a list of your own. While no EMR or practice management system will be perfect, you’ll be closer to identifying the right systems for your practice if you understand what your needs are. It would be helpful to also ask key staff members they would like to have in your system. While you’re making your list, here a few of our suggestions of key features:

Instead of allowing vendors to tell you what you want, proactively have a list of your own. While no EMR or practice management system will be perfect, you’ll be closer to identifying the right systems for your practice if you understand what your needs are.

It would be helpful to also ask key staff members they would like to have in your system. While you’re making your list, here a few of our suggestions of key features:

  • Web Based
    • Web based means you won’t have the expense or responsibility of maintaining servers on your premises.
  • Free System Upgrades
    • The healthcare industry is constantly changing. Naturally your software should update with those changes and you shouldn’t have to pay for those changes.
  • All-in-One EMR, Practice Management, and RCM Platform
    • An all-in-one platform that includes EMR, practice management, and billing/revenue cycle management means a seamless transition from therapist coding to claims submission.
  • Free Training and Support
    • When reviewing your service agreement with your new vendor, make sure the training and support promised in the sales pitch are actually referenced in the contract.

Research before you buy

Most of us wouldn’t buy a used car without checking collision reports or getting a independent mechanic assessment first, so before you sign up for a new EMR and practice management vendor, do your own research. What are their reviews? How long have they been in business? What’s their track record? Also, ask the vendor for some referrals of other therapists who are using their system so you can ask your own questions.

Identify Super Users

Super users are tech savvy staff members who will learn the new EMR inside and out and will be the go-to people for any EMR questions other staff may have. They will be in charge of providing tips and shortcuts, assist creating templates, as well as helping other employees during the training process. Here’s a list of traits that will help you pick your office’s super user(s):

  • Highly computer literate
  • Quick learner
  • Positive outlook regarding EMR change
  • Willingness to help others
  • Natural leader

Take Advantage Of Online Training Resources

Some vendors offer their training materials online. Taking advantage on any online tutorials will allow you and your staff the opportunity to learn the new system at your own pace and get a leg up before go through the instructor lead training. BMS as a complete online repository of pre-recorded training videos and written step-by-step instructions with pictures for performing different tasks with the EMR. New clients are encouraged to review the online training materials during implementation and continue to have access to after their go-live date. This means if you forget how to do a task in RevFlow after your training, you can always find the answers to your questions by searching in our online training database; 24-hours a day, free of charge.

Job Specific Training

Front desk employees need to know how to enter a new patient; however they do not need to know how to finalize a treatment note. Training for employees should focus only on the part of the system they will use on a daily basis. Job specific training will cut down on learning time and get your staff up and running on your new EMR platform more quickly.

Post Go-Live Feedback Session

Implementation does not end after training is complete. Its a constant work in progress. Once your new EMR or practice management system is up and running, you are bound to have some bumps along the road. Instruct your staff to track these bumps and schedule regular meetings with key staff members to discuss issues and challenges. A couple weeks after your go-live date we also suggest having a follow up meeting with your new vendor to discuss the challenges you and your staff is experiencing. Keep in mind that your new system should be able to adapt to your office’s workflow and your vendor should be able to help with that process.

Implementing a new EMR system in your practice can bring a host of challenges but partnering with a great vendor that really understands the nuances of outpatient rehab practices and using the tips outlined in this article will definitely help your practice get through the process with as few mistakes and headaches as possible.