EMR Implementation – 3 Ways to Ease the Pain

Lisa P. Shock, MHS, PA-C
President/CEO Utilization Solutions in Healthcare, Inc.

EMR ImplementationAs a clinician, I have used more than 5 Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in my career. I have experienced a full on practice implementation as well as a transition from one system to another, all while continuing to service patients and provide direct care. Maintaining patient flow, ensuring accurate and documentation and arranging care coordination is a challenge when you are navigating software that is not always intuitive.

Tip #1 – When implementing an EMR it is absolutely critical to get all members of the team involved. Redesigning processes like prescription refills, lab requisitions and x-ray requests are distinctly different within a software framework as opposed to a paper order. Coordination of smooth messaging from one provider to a nurse or from a front desk staffer to a provider must be well orchestrated and efficient.

Tip #2 – While the EMR transition is occurring, engaging temporary help can be a revenue saving benefit. Practices cite decreases in patient flow and therefore decreased overall revenue as a primary deterrent to EMR implementation. When faced with fixed overhead costs, fear of lost revenue (from decreased patient volume) during transition is a reality.

Tip #3 – One of the deadly sins of EMR implementation is failure to fully participate in training. This occurs for many reasons but is also an expenditure for the practice when purchasing an EMR system. Often practices will have providers with differing levels of “emr literacy” and as the providers are the key revenue drivers, adequate training is key.

As your practice deals with issues like attestation for meaningful use revenue in 2012, consider these tactics to make your transition easier on your team as well as your practice revenue stream.

Lisa P. Shock, MHS, PA-C, is a seasoned PA who has used EMRs since her student days at the Duke PA program in the late 90s. She enjoys part time clinical primary care practice and is the President and CEO of Utilization Solutions in Healthcare – a specialty consultant company for physician practices and hospitals, offering a wide range of services to help implement and improve upon the utilization of PAs in the health care system

She is familiar with the SuiteMed system offered by MICA and loves the ease of navigation as well as its easy customization options. Contact her with questions at lisa@pushpa.biz

Lisa Shock was a guest blogger for MICA in January 2012, the above post was written for their newsletter. To view the entire newsletter as sent out to subscribers click here.

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