Learning a new electronic medical record system doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you work with the right vendor and have a knowledgeable EHR implementation specialist helping you along the way, setting up and learning how to use your new software can come easy. For an in-depth look into the implementation process for first-time PrognoCIS users and for those interested in converting to PrognoCIS from another EMR, we interviewed Bizmatics sales coordinator Anthony Bates.
EMR implementations can be trying. How do most healthcare professionals make it through the process?
At Bizmatics, we try to make the transition as easy as possible for our clients – no matter if they’re new to the EMR world or switching over from a vendor that no longer meets their needs. We do this by pairing each physician with an implementation specialist from the start. The implementation specialist’s job is to work with a point of contact from the client’s end to facilitate the transition.
What exactly is the implementation specialist’s role?
The implementation specialist works closely with the client from the beginning to end. We find that PrognoCIS users are happy with this process. The specialist starts by gathering all the pertinent information from the clinic, such as provider demographics, their registered NPI number and Surescripts DEA number. They also help set up the client’s logo, which can be whatever logo the practice wants to use on any communication sent out by the EMR.
The next part of the process is setting up some of the initial building blocks for the practice, such as choosing a clearinghouse and getting that established, and getting their billing interface aligned. After that, our back-end team helps with the implementation of an HL7 to be established with whatever local or national labs the clinic wants to work with. The process is the same for every practice, we just work with different lab vendors to get everything set up and working properly.
The implementation specialist will then help the practice set up the EMR so that it’s aligned to how their office currently runs. The idea is to replicate the steps that are part of the practice’s current workflow, so that they don’t have to relearn everything or reinvent the wheel. For instance, if they’re used to the History of Present Illness and blood work all being done by the PA, and they still want to do it that way, we align the EMR to follow those same steps.
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Once the EMR has been set up, is there a different person that helps practices with training?
As I mentioned, we like the idea of having one person work with each client from the beginning to end. Other EMR companies may do things differently, but we have these implementation specialists who really are experts when it comes to using PrognoCIS. They have all the skills to help physicians get through the electronic health record implementation process, and that includes training.
What’s the learning curve like for practices that switch over to PrognoCIS from a different EMR?
For a lot of the practices that end up switching to PrognoCIS, the decision has to do with the fact that the EMR they’re currently using is at end of life, which means there won’t be any more software updates. These doctors and their staff – they’re already experienced users, and PrognoCIS is just a different software program. It’s like being used to an iPhone and then buying an Android phone. Both phones do the same thing. They just get you there differently. Plus, a good thing about PrognoCIS is that there are tutorials within the EMR, at the bottom of the screen. So if there’s something a user isn’t quite sure about, they can easily click to find out.
When does the implementation specialist’s role typically end?
The EHR implementation process can take as little as six weeks from the time the practice decides to move forward with PrognoCIS, or in some cases as long as six months. It really depends on each practice. It’s a delicate process, and we don’t like to rush anyone through it.
What resources are available to the practice once the implementation period is over?
All of our clients have access to unlimited support through our tech support department, but we also have e-tools that allow them to train on their own beyond that. We provide these tools for free through our online Resource Center. If an office manager wants to text patients for appointment reminders, for example, he or she can go to the Resource Center, type in “text” and pull up information for how to text through PrognoCIS. We provide step-by-step instructions in most cases, and we also have preloaded videos so that users can learn on their own.
Anthony Bates is the Sales Coordinator at Bizmatics. He plays an integral role in helping new clients transition to PrognoCIS EHR. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.