It is critical to determine the level of interest and support for an EHR initiative among your colleagues and staff. If you can identify and empower champions, you enhance the likelihood of success. You must also uncover potential resistance. Address individuals' concerns directly and invite them to be involved in the process.
Determine Interest Among Your Colleagues and Staff
Fear of the Unknown
Change makes people feel uneasy. Such is human nature. You will enhance your chance of success (and minimize trauma to your staff) by tackling this fear head on. Start by making certain your staff and colleagues understand why this change, although difficult, is essential. Don't forget to keep those who are not directly involved in the process updated about its progress. One easy way to do this is to schedule regular meetings to review major decisions and milestones. It's also a good idea to share anticipated timelines with the whole office so they can track the project as it unfolds.
The amount of work required during the transition (and even after) can be substantial. Don't let this come as a surprise to anyone. Make sure your colleagues and staff know what is expected of them. For example, explain that a temporary drop in productivity during the implementation phase is expected and acceptable.
Communicate the expected benefits of the EHR implementation -- not only the benefits to patients and the practice as a whole, but also to individual staff. For example, highlight benefits such as ready access to charts, fewer chart pulls, improved intra-office communication, and more efficient handling of medication refills.