Electronic medical records help simplify physical therapy documentation and billing, and serve to ease the life of the private practice owner.
Before you make a transition, Nitin Chhoda provides a checklist and series of questions to identify the system to use, and how to maximize its effectiveness for your practice.
When thinking about adopting an electronic medical records system, there are many things to consider.
The 4 Ws are: Who, What, Why, and When.
Who will come up with a plan for implementation, hold meetings to get buy-in from all staff, and make sure that there is support for everyone using the new system?
What type of software will you select and which brand is best for your practice? Why will your practice benefit from electronic medical records? And when will implementation be completed?
Who Helps Make the Transition Smooth?
The first thing to decide is who will be responsible for defining goals and identifying the requirements of your electronic medical records system? Determining the best implementation plan will probably require a project manager, who will be responsible for the nuts and bolts.
The project manager should work with a clinician or other practitioner who can ensure that the decisions being made will actually benefit the people who will be working with the electronic medical records new program.
For a small practice this may be one and the same person, but it is more likely that a committee or team will be able to accomplish things more smoothly. Because everyone on this team probably has other responsibilities, each will only be able to dedicate a little bit of time. By spreading out the job of getting buy-in and engaging all staff in the electronic medical records process, everyone benefits.
Why Make the Switch?
Answering this question is critical to adopting the right electronic medical records program. Are you hoping that the clinic will be better able to re-schedule after cancellations? Are you interested in making everyone more efficient when it comes to accessing electronic medical records? And do you want reporting options because you want to know where the inefficiencies in your practice can be found?
By answering these types of questions, you will be able to come up with a list of requirements for the electronic medical records program you finally select. This will aid greatly in answering the next question.
What Program Do We Choose?
The project manager will be responsible for determining what electronic medical records program will be the best program, but there are many variables that will help him or her make that determination.
They must consider how the program will be used, on what platforms, and whether or not different programs offer the things your practice needs.
When Do We Finally Switch?
The timing of your switch may change, but by giving yourself some deadlines you can ensure that goals are met on a schedule.
Switching over should be relatively smooth, and even though many people are reluctant to learn the new electronic medical records system, you will find that once they get used to it, they will be happier.
Becoming a more efficient staff member and seeing your clinic work more smoothly is encouraging and exciting. Having the control and power to measure your efficiency can really change the way you do business.
Electronic medical records training and adoption can be a very exciting process, and the more you plan and prepare, the smoother the transition will happen.