Unless it’s your one-year wedding anniversary, you probably don’t want anyone to give you paper. And if you’ve just started a new job in the rehab therapy industry, you really don’t want anyone to give you paper. When it comes to documentation, paper doesn’t just kill trees—it can kill your new employer’s bottom line. But I don’t have to tell you that, do I? In fact, I’m preaching to the choir, but if you’re reading this article, you likely aren’t the ultimate decision-maker. However, you do have a voice, and you can use it to be an EMR champion at your new clinic. Here’s how:
1. Ask why the clinic still uses paper.
Do they fear EMR? Are they worried about potential costs? Or have they already had a bad EMR experience that forced them to go back to their old ways? Knowing what you’re up against will help you come up with a successful sales strategy.
2. Determine your clinic’s pain points.
Your new clinic is great, but no practice is perfect. So, look for issues that EMR can help resolve. Is your boss spending too much time doing administrative tasks? Is your office overrun with filing cabinets? Are there kinks in your customer service? Is your billing team getting bogged down? Is your clinic struggling to keep up with competition, or to grow its referrals or customer base? Pinpoint the top three needs that aren’t being met or goals that aren’t being achieved.
3. Play EMR matchmaker.
Now that you’ve figured out your clinic’s needs and goals, you can look for the right EMR solution and tailor your pitch to those exact issues. There are many different EMRs on the market, and they aren’t one-size-fits-all. What to look for? A web-based solution that is built for the way you work, meaning it offers:
- Correct, complete, compliant, and defensible documentation;
- Efficient and integrated scheduling (including automatic reminders and easily accessible clinic schedules);
- Business intelligence and compliance reporting tools; and
- Billing tools or software to streamline your processes.
4. Find the right time to pitch your boss.
The last thing you want to do is interrupt your boss when he or she is in a bad mood, working a full day of back-to-back appointments or elbow-deep in a tough task. If you can, set up a sync on his or her calendar to make sure you get the time you need to present your argument.
5. Make your case.
You’ll want to emphasize the positives of switching to an EMR. Talk about how great this move will be for business, and use research to back up your points. It doesn’t hurt to find clinics in your area that have successfully switched to EMR and use their stories as pseudo case studies. However, don’t skirt around the potential negatives of ditching pen and paper—just be ready to provide a solution to those problems. Your boss needs to make an informed decision. Plus, you don’t want to be stuck with the blame if something doesn’t go according to plan.
6. Be prepared to hear the word “no.”
Switching from paper to EMR can be tough, time-consuming, and terrifying. Even if you work the room like Perry Mason, your boss might not cave easily. Don’t give up. Ask for specific reasons why your boss turned you down and what might change his or her mind in the future. That way, you can adjust your strategy for next time. Are your fellow staff members on board? Rally the troops! There’s strength in numbers, especially if your boss respects staff opinions.
7. If you do make the switch, be all in.
If you’re able to convince your boss to leave pen and paper in the dust, remain a champion throughout the transition process. You worked hard to make the change possible, so now you should work hard to make sure it’s successful.
Deep down, your boss probably knows that adopting EMR technology is worthwhile, but depending on his or her concerns, it might take some time and consistent effort for you to close the deal. Stay positive and stick with it, champ. Need more talking points? Check out the rest of our blog (or this one) for more research and resources to help you fight the good fight.