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The people perspective of EHR
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The People Perspective of EHR
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The People Perspective of EHR

The global Electronic Health Record (EHR) picture is often the main focus of medical practice decision makers. How much will my EHR cost? Will we qualify for government incentives? What software/hardware solution should we consider? How much training will we need? But where does the emotional response fit in? The responses of your team members are effectively what pulls the plan together and makes it work.
EHR involves widespread change and the emotional buy–in of all the medical practice members is absolutely vital. It is often the unstated issues, which must be addressed in order to move forward in a profitable way. It is wise to remember that any human resource issues will adversely affect your ROI.
Consider yourself to be the coach of a well–respected team. Your team has been producing great results with your old system, but you know there are challenges ahead with a new approach, which seems risky at first, but could greatly increase the success rate in all areas of your medical practice. Your job is to break down the barriers and assign positions by recognizing the strengths of your team and possible barriers ahead.


Your captains, or team leaders, will embrace the change EHR brings to your medical practice and will be able to lead by example and be dedicated to the tasks ahead. They will generally have a good understanding of EHR and be capable of listening and training other members of the practice. They will lead by motivation, and display excellent technical and people skills.

Position players

Many roles will change; from the way you capture information, to the way you diagnose patients and send information to pharmacies, or referrals to hospitals or other doctors. Your captains need to recognize the players in the team with the strongest abilities in certain arenas. Those players can train their colleagues, encourage specific strengths, and minimize the impact of potential weaknesses.

Reluctant Players

Those most resistant to change can be the source of your inability to successfully move forward with EHR implementation. Most concerns are factored around negative emotion to change such as:
  •  I am a doctor. I do not concern myself with IT, or admin duties, and this does not make me a better doctor. I am here to help patients not input information that is the job of my assistant.
  •  We have been operating as a practice just fine for many years, why do we need new programs now?
  •  I am not sure I can learn a new system; I don't like to open a computer, let alone enter vital information on it.
  •  I am being told I have to do this, it is not part of my job, and I was not hired to do all this extra work. I already have a heavy workload as it is.
  •  These timelines are totally unrealistic; we will never qualify for government incentive money. We don't know what we are doing.
  •  Is this EHR system safe? We could get sued or lose all the information by touching the wrong button on the computer.
  •  We will lose patients when they see we are moving to EHR.
The reluctant players can potentially affect every member of the team, including the coach. They have many valid concerns, which need to be answered and addressed. Your job as coach is to find what it is they do well, reward it, and encourage development in areas of uncertainty.
It is important that all team players understand that a delay in certain areas of EHR implementation could severely compromise your bottom line. Certain requirements must be met in order to qualify for federal payment incentive. Electronic Medical billing, for example, may offer the quickest ROI as it often allows for a fast turnaround on claims, code look–up, and assistance with HIPAA requirements.
The ultimate goal in the EHR process is to make your practice flow more efficiently, and make it easier for your staff and your patients. Set best practice goals for each specific task and reward accordingly. – If your practice has been built around paper charts and documentation EHR – may require a whole new approach. Pro–active leadership will help to establish new systems in each department such as, reception, billing, nursing, clinicians, medical records. There are many areas in which to delegate your experts, who can, in turn, find roles for every type of team member.
With a strong and motivated team in place, there will be no turning back. Just imagine if tasks, including patient care, customer service and productivity, could be accomplished more efficiently than they ever were with paper charts and records.
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