EHR Implementation Tips from L.A. County
Electronic Health Record implementation advice from the country’s largest
county mental health system (not ranked … all important … from staff
at all levels)
Choose a strategic partner
Even agencies with large IT departments shouldn’t tackle the complexities
of an EHR implementation on their own. Choose an EHR provider that understands
your organizational needs and the changes going on in the healthcare landscape.
Then utilize the best practices and expertise of your provider to make it
VIDEO: Strategic Partners >>
Empower staff/boost morale
Change is never easy. Empower your managers to engage staff in playful ways to
make the implementation less daunting. Offer stress balls at go-live. Bring in
"therapy cookies" or apple cider and enjoy a snack or "We did
Engage all aspects of the care team
An EHR implementation affects everyone. Be sure that as you decide on workflows,
forms and reports that you have clinical, financial and operational around the
Staff with different roles could need different training, depending on
their workflow and/or data capture requirements. Consider creating separate
training manuals and modules to meet these unique needs.
Organize a go-live support team
Don’t rely solely on pre-training. Enlist a group of "super
users" to ensure a smooth transition. These folks can be on site before,
during and after an implementation to answer questions and inspire success.
VIDEO: The Go-Live >>
Plan your rollouts strategically
If you have more than one agency that needs to go-live on your new solution,
roll out strategically so the support team stays strong and you have a chance to
reflect and optimize as you go.
The digitization of healthcare is more than just the displacement of the paper
record to the computer screen. During EHR implementation, much attention is
placed on inputting the same required data as in the paper world to support
transactions, communication, compliance and reporting. How tasks and activities
were accomplished in the world of paper-based processes can -- and must --
evolve in the electronic world.
Stay one step ahead
If your EHR provider offers conferences or webinars about industry trends or
user tips, be sure to participate. You can bring those ideas back to your agency
and implement them in a way that makes sense for you.
Take the plunge
Even if your back has become accustomed to lugging around boxes of paper charts
… stop! Immediately start bringing your laptop into the field and typing
notes into your electronic assessments and forms. The quicker you make the
shift, the easier it will be.
Train well and often
Requiring (rather than suggesting) pre-implementation training will arm your
staff with the basics before go-live. Having staff work together during the
training process gives them the support they need and peer support for questions
and issues as they arise.
Learn more about the L.A. County Department of Mental Health at www.dmh.lacounty.gov
Download a printable PDF of this tip sheet >>