“I don’t think our staff is ready for EHR systems”
Most EHR vendors would have heard of this. While this is true, it is sad if healthcare organizations take it at face value and don’t invest in an EHR system. By embracing the EHR technology, service providers can provide better care for patients and they are also able to streamline business operations.
Since the EHR system is a completely unknown factor, the staffs are usually afraid that they might mess up something which will have irreparable effects. Also, not all staffs would be open to learning a new technology even if it meant that they would get better at their job. It is simply a fear of a system that is strange to them. Imagine being asked to completely change the way you work overnight just because there is a new machine that understands and operates differently which you are being asked to adopt without much of a warning.
Here is how you can help your staff embrace EHR:
Get them to be comfortable with it:
One of the biggest drawbacks that most humans possess when it comes to improving their lives is their inability to come out of their comfort zones. The same is the case here concerning healthcare staff. They are not comfortable changing their method of working which has been taught to them for years and they have put it in practice as well.
While it is normal to assume as a healthcare service owner that you can expect your staff to get themselves upgraded to changing technology, it is easier said than done. They have years of practice under their belt and would certainly not be swayed by technology that their work can get easy with the help of a system they have never heard of.
You don’t transfer a fish to a different bowl of water by dropping it abruptly. You gently place them in the water, let them be comfortable in the new waters and then you take out the net. That’s how you should treat your staff who aren’t ready to embrace the change that EHR is.
When your staff get to know that their peers are making strides in the job because of working with EHR systems, they will be enthused to know more about it. You need to find out a few staffs who are willing to work with the EHR system. Give them ample encouragement, time and training so that they are well equipped to handle the system.
Also, ensure that they can see the changes in the way how their work has gotten easier. They can easily spread the message about how easy it is to work with EHR system once you are trained. Once they get to know that their peers are having a field time, they will also be willing to try it out.
Since this is a completely new system, there is no doubt that there will be a lot of naysayers who wouldn’t be happy with a change in how they usually work. So just to get the ball rolling, you can incentivize your workers to try out the new EHR system. It doesn’t have to be a huge incentive as they would be doing just a part of their jobs. But you need to find something meaningful that resonates with them.
You need to set quantifiable goals and actionable items that they should be able to do. The goals should also have a timeframe by when it should be accomplished. Let’s say if your goal is to effectively use the EHR system, then the objectives that you can have could be:
1. Finish the entire set of modules for training within 3 months.
2. Implement each of the features at least twice in two months.
3. Each one should teach one so that all of them are on the same page.
Tell them about the benefits:
Even before you start asking your staff to work on the EHR system, you need to let them know why you are employing it in the first place. Tell them why you decided to implement a new EHR system. Give them pointers on how other hospitals can take better care of their patients. Tell them how happy and satisfied most practitioners feel after they use EHR.
Making the switch to a completely new system that is technology-based can be daunting for people who aren’t familiar with operating such devices. It can be something that they are not prepared for at all and it will have serious psychological implications if you don’t show empathy when you expect them to make changes to their day-to-day job.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your staff are well equipped to handle an EHR system and you should have strategies in place to ensure that there is maximum participation as it is going to benefit the patients under your care. While the entire process might look difficult on the outside, it will surely bring in dividends that outweigh the troubles associated with making your staff adopt it. .