The responsibilities of an office manager in a physical therapy practice are significant. In order to function effectively as a manager, EMR technology plays an important role. Nitin Chhoda outlines the goals and skills necessary to improve efficiency as an office manager.
The job of the office manager in the electronic medical records adoption process requires a holistic approach and the willingness to do a lot of negotiating.
At first, there will be resistance to any new idea, especially if it requires that everyone change their habits.
We get set in our ways, and that is only human. But we are also very good at learning new tricks and getting set in new ways if we have the right attitude.
It is the office manager’s job to help foster a positive attitude. Of course, the office manager must also seriously dedicate him- or herself to the technicalities of implementing a new EMR system.
This will include a resource audit to determine what hardware you have and need, as well as a list of requirements for the new system. Below is one path that office managers can take through the process of EMR adoption.
Goals, Enthusiasm, and Skills for EMR Adoption
- First of all, determine what your goals are. These will include individual goals of clinicians or staff as well as business goals for improving efficiency and reporting. These goals should be prioritized and they should be reasonable. In other words, you should be able to measure your success and goals should be achievable.
- Once you have a set of goals, you can start to look for EMR solutions that can and will help you achieve those goals. EMR and EHR systems can vary depending on the designers, programmers, and goals of the system. Finding the system that will work for you will be one of the most important decisions you make.
- The next step will require that you can think through the changes to come. What will the clinic need to change in order to adopt an EMR solution?
If you want to achieve certain goals, some staff may have to sacrifice comfort temporarily. But if you can see those changes coming, it will be easier to prepare for them.
- And being able to see what is coming will help you to get the rest of the clinic on board. Building some enthusiasm and managing the expectations of your staff in EMR software adoption process will be critical to making it smooth. Everyone who will be affected should be briefed, asked for feedback, and told what they can expect. The end result should be commitments from all involved that they are ready and willing to make the switch.
- There will then be a period when you must assess the skills necessary for EMR adoption and efficient use. The skills needed may not align with the skills of current staff, so training may need to be organized.
Resources and Planning
But once you understand the goals, skills, and resources available and needed for EMR adoption, you will be ready to come up with a plan.
Training, switching over, and implementation will take some time, but if you make a plan, you can follow it to completion.