If you have been following us from Step 1 of our guide to EHR/EMR implementation, you know we are now at the last stage: the launch. In other words, it is time for you to actually begin using your EHR. There are actually several ways of going about this, so it is up to you to choose which one you think will work best for your situation.
Training followed by launch – This may not be an option if you are just in a small private practice or cannot spare resources on training staff to use the program. In the case of EHRs like SeriousMD, it may also be largely superfluous given the simplicity of the app.
On the other hand, including a training session before launch, no matter how short the session, can still be of benefit to the organization. What it does not actually teach staff, it can nevertheless reinforce. The result is that there are fewer questions and ambiguities for the users of the EHR.
If you do decide that you would prefer to dedicate time and effort to a special training course, you can contact your EHR vendor for assistance in developing materials. The SeriousMD staff would be more than willing to assist in your transition, for example.
“Big Bang” launch – Some doctors prefer to make the switch a quick one. This means you will immediately switch all your processes and records to the app instead of doing it gradually, as in the option below.
This may take a little more time to prepare for than the incremental launch, ironically, as it usually demands that you transfer all existing paper records into digital ones before the launch. That makes it pretty labor-intensive to set up for. Return to Step 4 of this series to learn more about data transfer options.
Incremental launch – This tends to be the most often-used option for EHR launch, probably as it allows staff to get used to the new way of doing things without “shocking” them with all-new processes. Staff usually transfer paper records to digital individually, on a gradual basis (see the preceding step in this series, Step 4).
If you do an incremental launch, you should make it clear to staff which functions you are going to start switching to digital at each stage of the launch. This keeps things organized and uniform across the organization. Creating an articulated plan detailing changes to be made at each stage and communicating that plan to all staff members will help a lot.