Schedule the ‘go-live’ in close proximity to the end of the training session. Try to avoid a long delay between the training sessions and the ‘go-live.’ (No more than a week should be allowed between the end of training and the ‘go-live.’) This timing will ensure better retention of the information.
Reduce provider schedules. Reduce the number of patients a provider is required to see during the ‘go-live’ phase. Learning an EMR can be a difficult process, especially for providers. Reducing schedules for a period of time can significantly take some pressure off. Many practices reduce schedules by 50% for one to two weeks after the ‘go-live’ and then 25% for several additional weeks. Another smart method is to add an extra 15 minutes for comprehensive examinations and 5 minutes for follow-up visits.
Provide adequate resources. Be certain to supply the staff with well- trained individuals such as vendor trainers, Superusers, in-house Project Manager etc. during the ‘go-live’ phase. IMS Northwest has the ability to create a Help Desk Hotline in case trained personnel are not immediately available. Communicate the chain of support method to all users before ‘go-live.’ Put a sticky-label on each PC with the help desk hotline phone number listed. Have systems in place if bugs or any other issues are discovered.
Post go-live assessment is necessary. Now that the EMR has been implemented, many practices feel as though the installation is complete. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Practice administrators must continue to assess the staff’s level of frustration, monitor productivity, measure patient cycle times, re-evaluate workflows, learning curve assessment, and if the EMR is meeting the established goals.
Evaluate and query the ‘go-live’ process with your key staff. Get their feedback as to what is helpful and what is lacking. This information can help with future implementations especially if new modules are to be introduced in the future.
Provider: On-Going Training and Support
Practice administrators should continue to offer training sessions well after the ‘go-live’ for reinforcement and refreshment. Staff usually cannot absorb all the information given during the initial training sessions and therefore follow-up sessions should be offered.