8 Reasons Your EHR Implementation Might Fail (and How to Avoid Them)

4 Minute Read Time
August 30, 2023

The decisions that you make during EHR implementation will be crucial to the long-term success of your business. It’s not just about storing records digitally—it’s also about managing your practice more efficiently.

One of the biggest mistakes that chiropractors can make when implementing an EHR solution is failing to take a leadership role in selecting and guiding the implementation process. Many decisions need to be made about how a practice is set up and how the workflow is developed.

Some chiropractors choose to delegate this responsibility to a staff member, but the chiropractor is the one who truly understands what it takes to provide a quality experience for patients.

While the implementation process may be time-intensive at start-up, the leadership on the project needs to come from the top and reside with the person with the overall responsibility for making the practice run efficiently. That’s the best way to avoid the reasons EHR implementations fail.

Challenges Arising from Poor EHR Implementation

The American Media Association outlines seven usability and safety challenges that can occur from a poor implementation process.

  1. Data entry errors: potential for leading to long-lasting negative impacts, misdiagnoses, or flawed treatment plans
  2. Alerting: failure to set up proper alert sequences based on practice workflow
  3. Interoperability: lack of integration with other systems or failing to adopt an all-in-one EHR/practice management solution
  4. Visual display: poor setup options that can lead to confusing displays and inhibit clarity
  5. Information availability: lack of a consistent approach to filing, storing, and accessing information and images
  6. Inefficient system settings: choosing default settings without regard to workflow or practice standards
  7. Workflow: failing to evolve workflow to take advantage of software efficiencies

Choosing the right practice management software can solve all these issues by creating a simplified, integrated workflow that is easy to use. It should create a centralized place for records, create an end-to-end workflow from intake to billing, and make everything needed quickly accessible.

Using the best software solution and adopting best practices will help you avoid the most common reasons EHR implementations fail.

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Eight Reasons EHR Implementations Fail and How to Avoid Them

Here are common reasons EHR implementations fail and how to avoid them.

1. Problem: focusing on features and not practice goals
When choosing an EHR system, you want a variety of features to help you manage the practice, but you don’t want them to drive your workflow. It’s easy to get sidetracked by all the new options and lose focus on the larger goals, which are to improve efficiency and performance.

Solution: Conduct a thorough practice analysis to establish goals before implementation. It should focus on overall goals and an assessment of the current workflow, the desired outcomes, and a transition plan.

2. Problem: lacking staff buy-in
Even with a commitment to change, there may be reluctance from staff members to change the way that they work. Ensure that the staff understands the importance of the change and the goal of improving the current systems using the features of your EHR and practice management software.

Solution: Extend a gentle but firm hand from top leadership, funneling all decisions through the filter of the practice goals. Also, involve staff in the planning and implementation process to help get them invested in the outcome.

3. Problem: ignoring best practices
When you choose the right EHR solution provider with industry expertise, they can help guide you with best practices that can make your workflow more efficient. No matter how much time you spend on due diligence, there will likely be features that you don’t know about or methods that will improve the way that your practice operates.

Solution: Seek guidance from your software provider and not just about how to use the software. Employ best practices and learnings about how others have successfully implemented their EHR solutions.

4. Problem: having a learning curve in adoption
For any process or procedure, there’s a learning curve for everyone involved in the process. Proper training of chiropractors and staff is crucial for successful implementation. Users may get frustrated with setup and workflow while they are learning, so they need time to get comfortable using your EHR system.

Solution: Structure a formal training program and build in time for practice.

5. Problem: replicating current systems
During implementation and early use of your practice management software, it’s important to keep your team focused on the larger goals. Otherwise, you can make the mistake of replicating your current workflow in the new system instead of taking advantage of the benefits from streamlining your process.

Solution: During implementation, consistently bring the focus back to the practice goals.

6. Problem: using different software solutions
It can be tempting to stick with systems that you already have in place, since everyone knows how to use them. This can lead to mixing and matching software solutions. Even if an EHR vendor says that they can fully integrate with your system, you need to ensure that they will. A failure to integrate properly can cause chaos.

Solution: A better solution is to deploy an end-to-end solution that will manage all aspects of your practice rather than trying to assimilate multiple software solutions.

7. Problem: failing to test-drive EHR solutions before purchase
Don’t make a purchase decision based on a demo. Take the time to test-drive it yourself. Have different members of the staff try it out. You’ll quickly learn how intuitive the software is (or isn’t), and you’ll find it easier to make decisions during implementation.

Solution: Get hands-on experience before making purchase decisions.

8. Problem: trying to adapt generic EHR software
When choosing a software provider, you will have options. Focus your efforts on software providers that have created solutions specifically for your industry. Every medical profession has unique requirements. You want to work with a company that has deep expertise in your industry.

Solution: Avoid generic EHR solutions and use practice management software designed for chiropractic offices. Find a vendor that understands your industry and provides exceptional service.

Choose the EHR System That’s Right for Your Practice

With ChiroSpring, you will benefit from a complete end-to-end EHR and practice management solution. You will work with a company with deep roots in chiropractic management. ChiroSpring is the number-one cloud-based practice management software designed and built specifically for chiropractors by chiropractors.

ChiroSpring is an all-in-one practice management and EHR system built specifically for chiropractors to help them regain face-time with patients, spend less time on back-office tasks, maintain a limited staff, and save operational costs.

To see how ChiroSpring can help you simplify how you manage your practice, reach out to one of our specialists today!

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