Whether dealing with work, school, or social lives, most professionals have now found some way to adapt to COVID-19. How comfortable the adaptation feels may vary. The pandemic forced many healthcare organizations to change how they planned to administer healthcare. As the virus remains present on our minds and with an eye toward the risk of another surge, we are heading toward a “new normal,” which should not be a barrier to success.
Though organizations are tasked with shifting priorities, decisions must still be thoughtful and comprehensive. No organization decides to “rip-and-replace” systems lightly – certainly not something as important and costly as an EHR. While some facilities had to delay go-lives, the impetus for switching EHRs still exists. The identified reasons—drive toward digitalization, impact on clinical care, better documentation, ease of use, unified technology—and the corresponding benefits are needed now more than ever so that organizations can make the most of their time and money.
“Delaying an EHR activation delays the payoffs anticipated from the new EHR,” says Jodie Hilliker, Nuance EHR Services Director of Activation and Training. “A healthcare organization can successfully transition to new technology within virtual constraints – and even discover there are silver linings to a remote approach.”
With virtual activation planning, support, and training services, healthcare organizations do not have to worry about acquiring PPE or complying with social distancing. “Online meetings can be focused and effective,” says Hilliker. “Without the need to wear masks or keep physically distant, meetings – any online interactions, can be relaxed and productive, and achieve the same outcomes as in-person meetings.”
Traditional activation projects involve a host of experts who arrive from various locations. Expenses for airfare, hotel, and meals are eliminated when experts provide the same support, technical know-how, and training over video calls. “The travel and expenses budget line is a significant part of a project quote,” Hilliker adds. “By eliminating costs incurred by bringing staff onsite, organizations can achieve identical results with a smaller investment.”
Users seeking assistance find value in the personal attention offered through online support. Virtual chat rooms staffed by experts in EHR and Nuance technology are available at the click of a button, ensuring all users—the squeaky wheels and the wallflowers—receive the same level of attention within an equal timeline. Live chats can shift to video conferences for more assistance, if necessary. “We’ve heard that users appreciate the one-on-one, uninterrupted attention that video calls provide,” says Hilliker. “Rather than some users dominating a resource’s attention, it offers an equitable means of providing virtual at-the-elbow support to everyone when they need it.”
Implementing a new EHR is no small undertaking. The key to success is a comprehensive plan and proper preparation – not where or how the plans and preparations happen. With expert assistance unlimited by time and space, organizations can welcome a new EHR and see a return on their virtual efforts.