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How to Prep Your Team to Embrace EHR Technology

September 10, 2019 Acupuncture Practice Management
embrace EHR technology

If you run an acupuncture or other TCM clinic, we’re the first ones to tell you that adopting an EHR and practice management software is an important investment. While the benefits of an EHR might be crystal clear to you, getting buy-in across your clinic could be a different battle.

Adopting new technology, implementing training, and keeping your staff and patients happy might feel overwhelming. Not to worry — it’s also totally normal to experience resistance when going through a change like this. 

EHR adoption across the United States is definitely growing. The number of practitioners and medical establishments who use EHRs is steadily increasing; nearly 90 percent of office-based physicians nationwide are using EHRs. Still, there is some hesitancy around adoption, and for a valid reason: Change, even good change, is hard. 

With high-quality training, guidance, and a bit of patience and perseverance, providers can achieve EHR buy-in across their clinic and have their entire team happily using it in no-time. 

Common Reasons for Resistance

Before we dive into the steps needed to prepare your team for an EHR, it’s important to lay out a few common reasons why there might be some hesitancy. Remember: These reactions are normal and they can be addressed!

Fear of moving outside the comfort zone
Fear of the unknown is real. In a perfect world, your entire team is excited to mold and adapt to the needs of your practice and the healthcare industry in general. In reality, there will always be a natural, human reluctance to change. Moving out of the comfort zone means going into the unknown and changing the current way of working.

Discomfort with advances in technology
A popular reason people are resistant to EHRs is fear around tech competency. (Not all of us are super savvy with the latest updates and upgrades on our phones and computers!) Alternatively, certain team members might not totally understand the comprehensive benefits that an EHR provides, from reducing errors and speeding up processes to cost savings and higher patient satisfaction.

Nervous about the impact on productivity 
Any new tool or way of working will inevitably take some time to learn. However, if the EHR is intuitive and the training high-quality, the front-loaded time spent will be well worth it, with countless hours saved in the long haul. The initial learning curve can be daunting, especially if you have a lot on your plate already. Team members might be afraid of getting and staying behind if they need to carve out time to use a new practice management tool. 

4 Steps to Seamlessly Adopt an EHR

Whether your team is reluctant to change, super jazzed for implementation, or somewhere in between, here are some steps to ensure your clinic staff happily embraces an EHR for weeks and years to come. 

1. Sell your team on the benefits. 

Even before you put trainings on your team’s calendars, it’s important to explain the specific reasons you are adopting an EHR. What hasn’t been working in the clinic that can be solved with an EHR? What changes are you hoping to see? Importantly, how will using an EHR make your team happier and more productive practitioners? Explaining the real value and offering up real-life scenarios helps people see clear value and generate excitement and buy-in.

(Psst, you can always send ’em our white paper, Data-Backed Reasons An Electronic Health Record Can Improve Patient Care)

2. Don’t skimp out on training.

A good EHR system will offer a strong onboarding package so everyone on the team is properly trained. (Fun fact: Unified Practice offers three live, screen share coaching sessions along with an initial sign up call and detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on setup and data migration.) We suggest having your team learn directly from the EHR support team while also offering an open-door policy for your staff to come to you (or whoever you designate on your team) with questions.

3. Encourage ongoing training.

Training and evaluation should be an ongoing process, even after the EHR implementation process is complete. Naturally, updates in the EHR will occur, technical difficulties might pop up, or people will simply need refreshers on how to best use the technology. While a good EHR is intuitive, it will take time for your team to become proficient in every corner of the product and scenario they might run into. Alternatively, your EHR vendor will likely launch new features and announce regular updates. Make sure to set up brief recurring meetings to address how the EHR use is going and ask for feedback along the way. 

4. Ask for feedback.

After you successfully implement an EHR, it’s useful to conduct periodic meetings with the entire staff to see how everyone is adjusting to the change or if more training is needed. Ensuring that everyone feels involved and their voices are heard is critical to creating ownership and obligation towards the EHR. 

If you want to see how Unified Practice’s EHR implementation process works, get started today.