It has become a necessity to have a practice management and EMR software in your office.  It is extremely difficult to function in today’s times without being a paperless office.  The costs of extra staff, chart cabinets, and paper, combined with reduced reimbursements, makes it extremely worthwhile to enter the 21st century and become hi-tech.

However, I see many doctors purchasing expensive systems just to collect dust on their hard drive and not use them.  Why? Anxiety.  Technophobia.  Cyberphobia.  Call it whatever you want, but the misconception is that it takes forever to learn and implement the system.  Then your fears spill over to your staff.  No one likes change, but for me, change to make things more efficient is better than not changing.

The best way to handle this problem is the Jeff Olson way.  Jeff Olson wrote The Slight Edge, in which he explains how by doing a little bit everyday will get you closer to your results than just trying to get it all done in just a couple of days.  The idea of learning something new and implementing new systems in a few days or even a few weeks can seem overwhelming.

Here are some tips on overcoming EMR Anxiety:

  1. Educate the staff on why you are implementing a new system.  Remember, it is all about them and explain to them how more efficient the office will be, thus, making their job easier.  Give them examples of how this will occur.
  2. When purchasing a system, get some input from the staff.  The staff will be using the system just as much as you will be.
  3. Make training mandatory for everyone.  Close the office for a few days.  It will be well worth it.
  4. Allow staff to spend time alone with the new system and to work at their own level. 
  5. For you doctor, go home and write EMR templates daily.  Again, apply The Slight Edge principle here.

That is where the biggest problem occurs in trying to implement the EMR.  Doctors find it takes too long to use the system.  Remember, you need to make templates that are customized to your practice needs.  The faster you get this done, the easier it will be to start using the new system.

It is always hard to change, but look at how the change will eventually make your job easier.  Like Nike said, JUST DO IT!

Looking for some insight into how to run an efficient practice? Learn more about the Top Practices Practice Management Institute. Dr. Peter Wishnie and Tina DelBuono have the answers you need!
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