When transitioning to an automated physical therapy documentation such as EMR, it is important to talk to your staff. Nitin Chhoda emphasizes the importance of open communication, and preparing your staff for the big changes that are about to come.
Communication and pre-planning will help to ensure that the documentation system you chose is the right one for your practice.
The complexity of the job is what draws a lot of smart, capable people to the profession.
But these days, you have to be competent with many forms of technology as well as with the people who you are responsible for managing. And the reason that electronic medical records solutions were developed was to help management streamline and integrate all systems within a practice.
To truly benefit from a medical EMR, your practice will need to prepare in a number of ways. One of the most crucial jobs that need to be done will be to manage the expectations of the staff.
If the staff is excited about a new EMR system and is ready to learn and be challenged, the process will go more smoothly and everyone will be able to use the EMR to improve efficiency.
But if the staff feels anxious, unprepared, and frustrated by the process, productivity will probably go down and the adjustment period will be much longer than necessary. Before you can expect your staff to get better at their jobs because of an EMR, you’ve got to train them and prepare them psychologically for the process.
That includes bringing the staff into the planning process so they feel they have a voice and their goals will be met with the EMR.
Choosing the Right EMR Software
Another crucial decision, which could make or break your experience with an EMR solution, will be what EMR you choose. This choice should not be obvious. Expect it to take some time for you to identify which EMR will help your practice to reach its goals.
Make sure that you have specific, achievable goals for productivity and efficiency before you even begin the search, and then base your decision on how well the EMR can help you to achieve those goals.
Getting staff input during this process will also be very valuable. If staff members are currently frustrated by certain aspects of their job or the way that certain systems are not integrated well enough, they can tell you what their goals will be.
Take Your Time
Managing the transition process will probably be stressful enough without a lot of time pressure. So don’t overdo it by setting tight deadlines and strict expectations.
Nobody needs to feel pushed too hard during the implementation process, and that includes practice management. Taking your time will also allow you to identify problems right away, while you still have access to training materials and support from the software developers. If you take your time, you will be able to do things right the first time, saving you time and money in the long run.