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All Things HIT

Jan 10 2011   9:05AM GMT

Implementation for One, when others won’t!

Posted by: AllinHIT

Two years ago, I assisted a three (3) physician family practice with installing a bridge connecting their Practice Management System to a lab providers LIS.  After explaining to the founder that he needed a bridge (for demographics) and not an interface (results).  I then asked him about implementing e-Prescribing, which he wasn’t interested in doing.  However, one of the other physicians, a young woman new to the practice,  asked me questions about it, and she decided she wanted to implement it for her patients.  She also relished in the fact that SHE would qualify separately for the CMS e-prescribing incentives (Kudos to CMS for knowing this scenario was common in mult- physicians practices)!    

This is a common problem in a multi-physician owned practice, whereas, one physician embraces technology, but the one with the purse strings does not.  Knowing that this exists is the reason why CMS incentives are given to physicians, not practices!  Utilizing technology disparately within the office, could disrupt office workflow, confuse the staff, create more work, and can ultimately effect patient care.  The technologist physician’s assistant will probably be well trained on the technology, but the people in the office who has to “cover” for that person during absence, is probably not trained.  Hence, the technologist physician must have a “paper” workflow based upon this scenario, and a procedure for manually updating the system. 

Here are a few suggestions that you must consider in your plan.  First, the physician should consider cross-training another employee.  Typically this is avoided because of training cost.  However, consider using the vendor web seminars, video training, or internal staff for training.  Secondly, have different manual order forms, then the rest of the practice has.  If you have to implement a manual paper process, making sure that the forms are distinct, will make the information easier to find for updating in the system.  Thirdly, have the process written out and make sure the whole staff is familiar with the process, and where to find the procedure.  Fourth, test the manual backup system because you will undoubtly use it!

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