Easing the EMR transition through proper staff training

Updating a private medical facility's infrastructure to incorporate electronic medical records software is undoubtedly a daunting procedure. But, with recent compliance laws dictating that small medical facilities must make the switch by 2015 or else face penalties, it is a reality that healthcare providers across the country will need to face. 

In tenuous economic times though, some healthcare providers may opt to implement record keeping, e-prescribing and medical billing software into their practice without enlisting the support of professional medical technology consultants.

However, facility managers may not realize that the process of technological implementation can take several months. Moreover, ensuring that staff are well trained on new software's proper use is of vital importance to guarantee patient care is not compromised during the transitional period.

This issue was highlighted in late 2011 when Dr. Steven Kotteman, a physician practicing in Lincoln, Illinois, was placed on administrative leave for an inability to keep up with the company's newly implemented EMR system.

According to reports, Kotteman had little knowledge of advanced computing and alleged that he was not properly trained to transition to an entirely new method of operations. Kotteman reportedly proposed that better training would have allowed him to complete his job more thoroughly.

Cases like Dr. Kotteman's illustrate the need for hospitals to not only possess advanced medical software, but also properly train staff members on how to use it for superior patient treatment. In order to accomplish this goal, facility managers would be wise to deploy the services of a certified medical technology consulting service that can travel and provide either group or one-on-one training specifically tailored to individual practice models. In this case, doctors will be able to better adapt to an electronic system without losing out on valuable personnel and government incentives.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec andPractice Choice products.