When it comes to investing in technology, it’s sometimes difficult to know if you’re making the most of your investment. It seems like software can always do something more than you’re aware of. Without knowing everything your EHR can do, it can be difficult to maximize your return. How can your practice maximize the technology you’ve implemented? Here are some tips on where you can get started.
Training, Training, and More EHR Training
Take advantage of training offered by your EHR vendor! These sessions help you learn and understand your technology’s capabilities. Most trainings will take place during the implementation process, so it’s important to make the most of that time. Get as many staff members as possible involved with the training – don’t limit it to just one staff member. You want to build redundancy across your team. That way, if you have someone that goes on vacation or leaves the practice, operations can continue uninterrupted.
Don’t stop your training post implementation. Knowing how to optimize your EHR, take advantage of the depth of capabilities, and do routine things more efficiently and faster is an ongoing commitment. Take advantage of additional trainings offered by your electronic health records vendor. Access knowledge articles from your Support Center, watch online trainings when they are offered, sign up for self-paced web courses, or if you have a specific training need, request a customized program. Not only will you learn how to do more and be more efficient, but you will help your practice continually evolve. Plus, training has been linked to higher satisfaction rates with your EHR.
Implement Best Practices
You’ve implemented your new EHR and trained your staff on how to effectively and efficiently use the technology in your day to day operations. The next step is defining best practices. Best practices are what your practice considers operational standards, and having them for your technology ensures you’re making the most of what’s available to you.
Best practices should be put together by the stakeholders in your practice. Managers and providers should develop the guide on how the practice should be using the EHR. Other team members can provide feedback in how they complete daily tasks to help fine tune the best practices. From there, your practice has a strong base of how your EHR should be used in office, which can also be helpful when bringing new members of staff on.
An important part of maximizing the potential of your EHR is making sure you’ve optimized workflows. Workflow optimization is often defined during the implementation phase of your EHR, but it is something your organization can and should examine on a regular basis. Workflows will affect how your organization:
- Schedules patients
- Checks patients in and out
- Conducts exams
- Manages medications
- Handles billing/invoicing
- And much more
Looking at your workflows on a regular basis, making sure they comply with your best practice standards, can help you improve efficiencies on an ongoing basis.
An important part of maximizing your EHR is making sure your practice is operating on the most current version available. EHR vendors release regular updates to their software as bugs are fixed and new features and functions are added. Software updates can improve the stability of your system, remove outdated features, keep you in compliance with state/federal regulations, and included critical security patches. These updates are all aimed at enhancing the user experience and keeping your data safe. Taking the time to install updates when they become available should be considered a top priority.
Every so often, it’s important for your practice to complete audits. This ensures that you are making the most of your EHR. After implementing best practices, auditing how your practice is using them can help you be more efficient. Perhaps you notice that since last working on best practices, your EHR has updated to include new functionality. This is the perfect time to add them to how your practice operates day to day.
Maximizing your EHR will look different for every practice. However, there are steps every practice can take to start them on the right path. Keeping up to date with new product releases, optimizing workflows, as well as ongoing training will make you more efficient. Defining best practices and regularly auditing these standards will help your practice continually evolve.