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Prevent the Negativity Associated with Epic (EHR) Upgrades

I just got back from the doctor whose office is in one of the leading hospitals in the United States. I was his first appointment of the day.

“They just updated Epic this morning, and everyone is getting into the office trying to make sense of the changes,” the doctor said. I asked if he knew that changes were coming. He said someone came around several weeks ago and told employees that a new release will be installed and that there would be someone available to answer questions from employees…at some point.

The doctor seemed a bit frustrated because the screens and process he’s been so used to have changed. At first glance, he said putting in orders for patients takes several more steps. The user experience has changed for doctors and other hospital employees. You could hear the chatter around the office, and everyone seemed annoyed.

The doctor said he just needs to sit down and figure out what changed. And, he’s right. He needs to take some time and explore the new version.

But as I was talking to him, all I could think about was organizational change management. If they had a good change management plan, it would have likely eliminated the frustration and allow employees to focus on their patients.

The four components to a good change management plan:

  1. Define the change: Explain the change and why it’s important
  2. Communicate the change: Tell the “what, when, how, and why” to the affected groups
  3. Enable the change: Make sure employees have the training and support required
  4. Sustain the change: Develop and share best practices, and adjust where necessary

Changes to EHR systems are inevitable. However, you need to plan accordingly. Time and time again, we see situations in which change management could help improve the user experience, increase adoption, and improve ROI. It’s time to take change management seriously and make sure it’s part of all your IT projects.

Let us know how our change management and healthcare teams can help you.

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