Software implementation has a reputation that causes many eyecare practices to be intimidated and scared about purchasing new software. It's known to be time consuming, expensive, and disruptive to a practice's day to day. While new software is going to have an effect on your practice, with the right plan you'll be able to get through implementation successfully, and you and your staff will be trained at using software that helps save you time and allows you to be more efficient with your patient schedule. Let's look at a few important steps that you can take to make sure your team is prepared for a successful implementation.
Training. It can be one of the more difficult things that your practice goes through. Especially if you're training on new optometry software that will play a role in just about every corner of your practice. Your staff might be resistant to the change, or you might be feeling unsure about your purchase decision. The best way to overcome the fear of change is by having a solid working plan in place to get your practice on the right track towards using the new software.
How to Outline Your Optometry Software Training Plan
1. Sit Down with Your Team
This is such an important step for getting your staff on board. Before you even start shopping for a new system you should include your team on the process. Find out the types of things that they would want in a new system so that you can take it into consideration when shopping.
Once the software is picked, meet again and get their input on how they would like to see the training process go. This way you can all set expectations and goals for the training period.
2. Understand Your Training Options
Talk with your vendor to really understand what types of training options you and your team will have. There might be different options based on your practice needs.
As the time to implement new EHR software in your practice approaches, your staff might be anxious about the potential changes to their normal daily routine. Before you begin this process of implementation, it is imperative to get all of your team on board with the new EHR software to help make the entire process easier. We know that there are a lot of different strategies out there for making changes in a practice, and it’s not a one size fits all situation. So here we have some basic guidelines to help you determine the best implementation strategy for your practice to take with your new software.
This guide will show you the benefits and advantages of taking the time to think out the EHR software implementation process. Developing a plan of attack for this will help you better manage the changes occurring in your practice.
How to Prepare for Your New EHR Software
Promote an Implementation Team Leader
Establishing a single team leader, or maybe more than one depending on your practice’s size, will help push forward and be responsible for your implementation plan of attack. Your team leader helps by assigning tasks and scheduling meetings for the other members of your optical staff, especially during the training period. This internal communication from the team leader should touch all facets of the practice to ensure a smooth implementation.
As we have said in the past, each practice has its own unique priorities and needs. There is no blueprint for EHR implementation, so coming up with your own personal plan of attack is an essential step to this process. A good place to start is by having your team leader work with your EHR vendor to best determine a strategy for your own individual practice.
You’ve finished all of your training and you're just about ready to start using your new EHR software daily! Most likely you have a feeling that can best be described as excitement mixed with a high amount of nervous energy; and that is completely to be expected. Today, we are going to share with you some tips that will help the go-live process take place as smooth as possible for your practice, and hopefully calm some of those nerves so your practice can ride happily off into the sunset!
4 Tips for Implementing Your New EHR Software
1. Take Things 1 Step at a Time
Don’t try and change everything all at once, it can create confusion and lead to mistakes. Start by only charting new patients electronically while they are in the office. Then slowly begin to switch over existing patients, charting a couple each day. It is okay to take time to fully transition into the software; we actually recommend it. Choosing a slow pace helps ensure that everything is done correctly and free of mistakes!
2. Understand the Importance of Communication
The high levels of communication among your staff shouldn’t end when training is over. If your team isn't communicating well, it's really going to show during EHR implementation.
Think about having weekly meetings during the implementation process where your staff can update each other on important information surrounding the implementation process. This also allows the opportunity for you to track and assess the progress you practice, and individuals, are making.
EHR implementation can be a tricky subject, especially when it comes to training. Mistakes in training can cost your practice money and present risk to your patients’ health. So, in order to help your implementation process go as smooth as possible, we are going to walk you through some common training mistakes that many practices fall victim to.
4 Common EHR Implementation Training Mistakes that Your Staff Could be Making
1. Ignoring Your EHR Vendor's Training Team & Resources
Your EHR vendor’s training team has an abundance of information on your EHR software, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help. It is important to work closely with your vendor’s training team in order to learn the best ways to train your own staff - take their advice and follow it. However, don’t rely on your vendor to carry all the training weight. Maintain communication with them and work with them to ensure a successful implementation.
2. Attempting to Turn Your Staff into EHR Software "Know-it-alls"
While it is important to be familiar with your EHR software and follow your vendor’s training program closely, every single staff member does not need to learn every single software feature. Training your staff in areas that they don’t need in order to complete their unique daily tasks is not only a waste of everyone’s time, but it can lead to stress and confusion. The goal of EHR implementation is to make the process as smooth as possible, so have your staff focus on the training that is specific to them.
You've just bought new optical software for your practice and now have the
task of getting everyone up to speed with using the new system. Or, maybe you're opening up a brand new practice and need to get all your new hires started. Training a team isn't always easy, especially if some of your staff is resistant to the change and not excited about the switch. We've put together a list of steps you should take with your staff in order to make the training process as enjoyable and successful as it can be!
5 Steps for Successful Optical Software Training in Any Eyecare Practice
Don't Flake on Weekly Meetings
First things first, you need to be organized and have a plan. Weekly meetings will help get everyone on your team up to speed and on the same page. It will be a good time for you to check and make sure your team is participating in the training program, and will also give everyone the opportunity to ask questions. You can also use your staff meeting as a time to walk through the software together. Grab 2-3 charts, and as a team enter them into the system as if the patient were in the office. Make sure to make the most of the time you have alone with your staff!
If you've started the conversation among the staff in your office about the potential of purchasing and implementing new EHR software, you might have heard a few grumbles from the crowd. Switching to a new software might not always be the popular choice in your practice, and if you're serious about making the switch, you're going to have to overcome those negative perceptions among your staff.
If your entire team isn't invested in the switch to new software it's going to make the process of switching that much harder. So we've got a some quick tips to help get your implementation plan started, and advice for dealing with your resistant staff.
Why You Need a Leader in Your Practice to Manage Your EHR Implementation Project
The Role of the Leader
EHR implementation is a project. A big project. So you're going to need someone to take charge and be the go-to person in your practice. This person will ideally touch almost all aspects of your practice and will help manage the relationship between your practice and your EHR vendor. Your leader should also be someone who is comfortable assigning tasks and setting up meetings to make sure that your team is staying on top of their training.
Step in Your Staff's Shoes
As we said before, there's a good chance you might face some resistance from a few members of your staff. As creatures of habit, people tend to be resistant to big changes in their daily lives. It's important to understand what is making your staff resistant to the changes. Are they worried about their job security? Are they afraid they won't be able to keep up and learn the new system? Are they worried it won't be beneficial to their job? Keep your staff involved in the process, and make sure to explain how a new system is going to make tasks they do everyday easier.
Even though technology has evolved from a tool to a lifestyle, not everyone has had the same resources or exposure to recent innovations. This is why you might be surprised by how varied your office staff's computer skills are. Some of your employees might not even have e-mail address accounts! Before selecting new optometry office software, you should evaluate your employees in order to find the software most suited to your office. Finding new methods of management can be terrifying, thrilling, and nerve-wracking. Fortunately, taking this small step early on will greatly help with the implementation process down the road.
We have compiled a short list of questions that could be imperative in your decision making process. You can use these as a guide for what to ask your staff before making the switch.
Technology developments are affecting every industry, including healthcare. These developments are making daily tasks for practices a whole lot easier. These developments are being made to the instruments and devices in your office, frames in your inventory, and the software on your computers. When it comes to optical practice management systems, there are some things you should know about new advances in technology, and how to make the switch to a new system.
Deciding whether to acquire change can be difficult. Sometimes you become so used to what you already have that you are willing to put up with the overbearing downfalls. But putting up with an inefficient practice could have negative affects to your business in the long run. Practice management solutions will make your day-to-day exam process quick and organized.