Prepare your employees for a new electronic medical record system

Buy-in from your employees is a factor in making big changes happen.

Managing and positively influencing staff is one of the most important elements in implementing an EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system.

Executive search firm Korn/Ferry International states that one of the biggest mistakes is that executives who come into a company to implement change do not recognize the existing culture of the company or office. For example, a controlling manager joins a company that uses a more collaborative system, leading to struggles and resistance.

It is preferable to find ways to align with the office’s pre-existing culture to support staff acceptance of the transition from paper-based records to EMR.

Planning is key

Proper planning and the ability to make minor adjustments is a great way to avoid the need to completely unplug an EMR project. A great tool to use during an important transition phase is the concept of “change management” to go through changes in a pre-planned and systematic way.

Below are some important factors in change management that can be customized for the implementation of EMR systems:

Acknowledge the human aspect

There will be changes and this could lead to fears. Without employee buy-in, a new system is likely to fail.

Start at the top

It is particularly important that top executives, including doctors and administrative staff, come on board. A “champion” is needed among the doctors; That said, a doctor committed to seeing this project through to completion, hopefully someone knowledgeable about technology but not overly optimistic.

Each layer must be involved

Establishment of a staff committee to develop proposals to be sent to physicians. These committee members should be the people who will be using the EMR system, such as B. Administrators, branches and assistants.

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Present your case officially

A need for change is questioned by the status quo. You will need a written statement of vision that is explained so that the how, who, what and why of moving to EMR is fully explained. Include evidence that going paperless is a much better alternative. Otherwise people will not use it.


Group leaders have responsibility for different elements of the projects. These members have better credibility with their subordinates compared to the doctors. These core people should be trained first and then taught to train others in practice.


Keep the channels of dialogue open and encourage feedback at every step. Keep a plan with a sequence of actions. Make sure employees have the information they need and are involved in the implementation process.


Identify the key values, perceptions, beliefs and potential sources of resistance in evaluating the cultural landscape. Sometimes people are set in their own way; for example the doctor who can’t check e-mail or the assistant who doesn’t like using a computer mouse.

Address the culture explicitly

People should learn new skills gradually, at least in small increments. This allows them to learn more about using computers, including hardware, applications, and more advanced systems such as EPM practice management software, eventually leading to EMR. If you are not able to involve the more resilient Doctors, they could cause problems or delays.

Expect the unexpected

Problems will surely arise. Events may delay the “live” date of transition to the upgraded system. These delays will cause ripple effects that can be better managed with the right flexibility in planning by the committee.

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Be clear when speaking to each individual

What is expected of everyone must be clearly understood. Confidence is good, if not unrealistic. In the event of problems, it is helpful to be able to counter the fears of the employees.

When EMR systems fail, it often has a lot to do with poor planning, poor implementation, or software flaws. The changes that will occur on the humanistic side will show this in a special way. Planning the integration into a specific practice before actually installing the program is planning time well spent. This ultimately affects the bottom line.