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Congratulations! You’ve decided your organization is ready to gain the benefits of electronic medical records(EMR).

Now you need to make sure your team and other stakeholders are on board.

What’s the secret to successful EMR implementation? Remembering that changes in technology cause change for people. And, if people don’t use the new technology, or use it correctly, your business squanders resources.

How do you help your team and other stakeholders adapt to the new technology? Here are the most critical people-centric components to include in your implementation plan.

Know the Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone involved in or affected by a course of action. It’s standard practice in project management to identify immediate stakeholders. In the case of EMR, examples include diagnostic technicians and administrative staff.

But for best results, also identify those stakeholders’ “customers”. That is, anyone who relies on the work of the direct stakeholders. These customers can be internal or external. The most obvious example of a stakeholder customer is patients.

Why acknowledge secondary stakeholders in your implementation plan? To prevent issues during and after implementation.

Communicate Early

Start communicating with stakeholder teams as soon as EMR implementation is a reality.

The goal is to help them understand and be confident about the changes ahead. Ask early for volunteers to help with requirements validation and beta testing.

Make information available in a variety of ways. Examples include email, intranet articles, team meetings, and posters. Remember, not everyone absorbs information the same way or at the same pace.

Share the Vision for the Future State

When helping stakeholders see what the future will look like, show them the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) element. Employees who see how they’ll benefit often adapt to changes in less time.

To be most effective, introduce the vision during a live in-person or video conference meeting.

Keep the vision as practical and relevant as possible. Emphasize how it will make daily work better and present opportunities for skills development. Don’t spend a lot of time on how EMR changes will affect the company’s bottom line. Provide time for questions and answer them with clarity.

After its introduction, make the vision available in multiple and enduring ways. For example, post it on your intranet and add it to internal newsletters.

Share the Plan for EMR Implementation

Once you have your EMR implementation roadmap, share it with all employees. Not the detailed project plan the implementation team uses. A high-level version with well-defined milestones and check-in points for feedback.

Sharing the plan helps employees feel involved. Even the sense of knowing what’s going on fosters confidence and accelerates acceptance.

Provide Training

Don’t skimp on training. Greater comfort using new technology and processes improves patient care.

Give direct stakeholders several opportunities to “play” with altered systems and processes. Keep simulated environments as realistic as possible.

Ask for and listen to feedback. User input and comments help you identify technology and workflow issues. They can also alert you to resistance to change.

Allow a Productivity Dip

Extensive training and thorough testing of systems and processes are essential. They can minimize productivity dips when the EMR changes go live. But they can’t prevent them.

Keep your team on board when things “get real” by making it clear that you expect productivity to go down. Not forever. For a reasonable and well-defined period of time.

Taking the pressure off users reduces mistakes and garners constructive feedback. It also allows them to set patients’ expectations and reduce friction at the point of service.

Get Expert Support

At CIS, our passion for excellence makes your road to EMR implementation smoother. And smooth implementations reduce costs and disruption.

Contact us today to discover which of our expert services is right for your project.