What strikes fear into the hearts of many behavioral health and human services professionals? The prospect of making a large EHR software purchase and experiencing a bad (or failed!) implementation.

If a new technology platform takes longer to implement than expected, it can drain internal resources, reduce your risk of ‘buy-in’ by internal users and even possibly put your business at risk if claims and reimbursement processes are jeopardized.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By selecting an experienced electronic health record vendor partner (with a track record of successful implementations) you can set your team up for success.

In addition to that, here are just a few recommended best practices that we’ve seen work for numerous clients. Talk to your EHR implementation team about these three strategies today to make sure you have these basics covered.

 

1. Ensure that your clinical team has a voice and actively participates throughout the process

While virtually every team member in your agency will likely use your EHR in some form or fashion, it directly and most profoundly impacts your clinical staff. While your new EHR likely has standard workflows, most leading EHR platforms can be configured to mirror your clinical best practice workflows. By championing their participation in the process, you can ensure that their voice is heard and their recommendations are taken into consideration during implementation.

 

2. Consider joining a consortium

If your agency doesn’t have a large information technology team and is operating on slim margins, joining a consortium can likely reduce the cost of your implementation and long-term upkeep of the system. By sharing implementation and technical resources, your agency can share and reapply best practices with other organizations in your area and reduce up-front costs.

 

3. Ask your vendor to share best practices

Don’t be afraid to ask your EHR vendor for help! They’ve likely helped to shepherd dozens of clients through the process and can enable you to leverage proven best practices for success.

 

4. Talk to your peers

The next time you are at an industry event, take a few minutes to talk to other behavioral health professionals and ask them about their experience implementing current EHR. What went well? What didn’t? How would they have gone about the process differently? You can likely learn a lot.

Starting the process of implementing a new EHR platform may seem daunting at first. After all, you may only join an EHR selection team a few times in your career. But, with the right partner by your side, you can confidently begin your journey towards adopting a new technology platform and reduce the anxiety associated with making such a sizeable investment.

Want to learn more implementation best practices? Register today for the upcoming webinar, 5 Strategies to Support a Successful EHR Selection and Implementation. We hope you can join us!

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