Nervous about the migration to Electronic Health Records? You’re likely already making some smart moves to prevent issues, like training employees on the upcoming changes. Another way to prevent problems is to carefully vet your system ahead of time. Look for any inefficiencies in your current workflow. If people are compensating for timing issues by walking down the hall, that’s going to become a problem with an automated system, so fix those now.
But once the system rolls out, how do you know everything’s under control? Here are five indicators to watch if you want to feel secure things are progressing smoothly.
1. Recognize that the process begins, not ends, with implementation.
So much planning and assessment goes into the decision to use an EHR system in the first place that it’s easy to think of the changeover as the finish line. This isn’t the case at all. While your provider will work with you to make the process as smooth as possible, your team members are the experts when it comes to your patients and workflows. You’ll need to be vigilant troubleshooters during the migration process, so foster a culture of watchfulness now.
2. Keep your revenue cycle team in the loop at all times.
You might be surprised how many organizations forget to include members of their revenue cycle management team in the planning and implementation processes. And yet they’re crucial to the process, both because their systems are involved, and because they’re the first people who will notice issues that could lead to revenue backups.
3. Monitor key metrics throughout the transition process.
The top analytic you’ll want to watch is your DNFB numbers. No billing means no payment, so most practices are very conscious of how long it takes them to bill, but during the migration process this metric may also mean that information is getting lost somewhere between your EHRs and RCM. Climbing denial rates are another “canary in the coal mine”. So monitor those metrics! (This is another reason to include your RCM team on any sort of supervisory committee.)
4. Assess use of the system.
Obviously, training on the front end can help to ensure that all your employees are using the system. That said, sometimes low usage is an indicator that some part of the system isn’t functioning as it should. Busy employees may look for workarounds in the short term instead of reporting the problem, so it’s important to track usage, but equally important to investigate the reasons behind low participation.
5. Reward use.
Once any initial wrinkles have been ironed out, maintaining a high level of usage will keep your new system rolling smoothly forward. Incentivizing usage and rewarding employees who are using the new EHR and RCM systems effectively can help!
Employing these tactics will help your organization make the EHR and RMC migration process as painless as possible.