In evaluating new electronic health record (EHR) and/or Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) software, behavioral health and addiction treatment professionals should consider several factors. These include: new features and functionality, ease of use, personalization/customization support, and pricing. But another important consideration that should not be undervalued or overlooked, is the training and implementation process.
The perceived hassle of learning a new EHR and/or RCM is one of the greatest pain points preventing providers and owners from upgrading. This is why a thorough and well organized “go live” plan is so important.
The Value of a Roadmap for Set up, Training and Implementation
To evaluate why a detailed roadmap matters, let’s first look at three different areas during this process that are critical:
- Review each department’s workflow and processes.
- Engage each department head to identify the “Super User”.
- Commit to a weekly schedule of meetings to make sure timelines are met.
- Dedicate time, uninterrupted, to review all forms: intake, admissions, clinical/medical, assessments, evaluations etc. through to discharge to make all required updates based on accreditation association and state mandates.
- Determine if you have the resources to dedicate to forms creation/modifications throughout the years or if you prefer to have the software vendor provide this service in a timely manner.
- Agree to a training schedule for Super Users to become proficient
- Agree to block time to train all staff online followed by in-person training, if required
- Apply the features and functions that are most helpful/required in each department.
- Recognize any gaps and determine best course of action. This is a partnership. Work together because you will need changes…that’s healthcare.
- Department by department – individualized, drives efficiency and use
- Train the trainer – empowers the staff by having a “go to” person locally
- Shadowing – hands on approach to training online and/or onsite
- 90 Day Follow up – what was missed? Who needs more training?
With the “train the trainer” approach, The Super Users collaborate with the Administrator and other leadership to update any policies and procedures based on levels of care or programs. Super Users may not be Department Heads. They should be individuals who are familiar with departmental needs and requirements, comfortable with laptops, tablets or desktops, and enjoy communicating with others. Super Users should be trained one-on-one prior to the individualized group training depending on the size of the staff.
This addresses two common paint points: dedicating the time and money. The efficiency of a combined “train the trainer” and individualized training approach ensures that as many people as possible on your staff lose as little time as possible. Those who do not handle billing do not have to spend time learning billing, and so on. Users learn what they need to learn, as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. An EHR vendor must have a good plan to share, otherwise you may be investing in a software that is a “do-it-yourself” model, that ultimately costs you more.
Importantly, the relationship between your EHR/RCM vendor and your staff doesn’t end after implementation and “go live”. That should be the beginning of your vendor/user partnership. When you have questions or user issues, will they be there for you or do they disappear after the sale or after “go live”? Do you have a dedicated lead implementation specialist?
The vendor/customer relationship is most important when choosing a software vendor. Having access to the top of the food chain is a big plus.
AZZLY is a healthcare software company based in Orlando, Florida serving addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare centers throughout the USA with their all-in-one EHR/RCM solution AZZLY Rize. Contact AZZLY for more information on our set up, training and implementation services and our skilled training specialists