Innovation within your practice: How to identify an in-office EHR champion for implementing an EHR

In a HIMSS survey, providers ranked ‘cultural and management challenges’ as one of the top three barriers to innovation. Transitioning to an EHR system kickstarts innovation from within your practice and will inspire a new, forward thinking culture. Selecting a strong leader or team to manage the transition will be a huge asset to implementing adopting an EHR.

Below are some tips for identifying your in-office champion to get the most out of your EHR adoption:

1. Able to grow influence
Your office EHR champion will be enthusiastic, well-respected, and forward thinking. This person will need to have a flexible schedule and delegate tasks as necessary. EHR adoption is a trickle down phenomenon — a leader who is focused on successful implementation sends a message to the rest of the team that embracing the change will be beneficial for the practice in the long run.

2. Comprehends staff workflows
While being an influential leader, the in-office EHR champion will have a deep understanding of each individual staff member’s role in the practice. Understanding your practice’s EHR needs will allow for smoother delegation of training and tasks to each staff member. The champion will tackle the bulk of training and share information with rest of the practice, being readily available to assist as questions arise.

3. Create a team of champions
To ensure that everyone’s needs are equally represented, the champion should identify a lead for each role in the practice. Having a team of champions is especially important for larger practices. A team lead, like a Nurse Lead, MA Lead, and Front Desk Lead can centralize each sphere of influence which will result in a smoother implementation.

4. Vendor liaison
The in-office champion(s) should be the main point of contact between your EHR vendor and the rest of the practice. This joint effort allows for training can be delivered efficiently to each member of the practice. As the primary contact between the vendor and your practice, the champion will become familiar with the technical aspects of implementing an EHR including data transfer, physician verification, and customization without disrupting the practice workflow.

5. Accountability
Keeping staff accountable for their respective roles during the EHR transition will keep implementation on track. Training and practicing with a new system should be made a priority so that each piece comes together to form a cohesive workflow that everyone contributes to.

Your office champion(s), through influence and organization, is the key factor to a successful EHR implementation. Speed and efficiency during this process will improve patient care during and after the switch. Ensuring you select an individual with a pulse on the practice’s best interests to drive the EHR implementation will build innovation from within the practice.