EHR Implementation Tips
There are important and necessary steps that must occur before your practice can successfully navigate an EHR implementation. This is the time to consider every nuance—including those generally overlooked. Amongst the plethora of “how-to implement an EHR” materials currently available, you probably won’t find any mention of the following items. Adding them to your preparation list, however, could make the initial EHR implementation period run that much smoother. Here are our tips this week.
Get ergonomic – When changing from paper charts to electronic data input, end users will have a complete, physical change in how they go about their day. The biggest change will be more time spent on a computer. More computer use equates to more shoulder and neck tension. Although office staff would undoubtedly appreciate regular massages to alleviate this affliction, a more practical route would be to educate them on how to prevent it. Some basic rules of thumb include: sitting up straight, adjusting your monitor level for minimum neck strain, and adjusting your mouse placement for wrist and arm comfort. You might consider having an expert on ergonomics come in and evaluate your office setup. A few new chairs could save your practice thousands in paid absenteeism.
Add workstations to exam rooms – Switching from paper charts to an electronic device also will affect the doctor-patient relationship, particularly in the exam room. Consider how your providers will interact with their patients and an electronic device at the same time. If the device has to be stationary, be sure it is positioned so the physicians is facing the patient while inputting. The most effective workstations are mobile and adjust to height easily and quickly. If you are using a wired workstation, consider a wall-mounted swing arm. If you have wireless capabilities, consider handheld tablets or iPads.