EHR Implementation Q&A
Switching to a new EHR system may seem daunting. At Medicat, we strive to make the process as smooth as possible. One of the ways we do this is with our thorough implementation process. This blog contains information that will help give you better insight into our implementation process, and how you can prepare for a successful launch with Medicat.
Our Implementation Team will walk you through setting up your software and demonstrate how to use it. The following questions are answered by one of our Implementation Specialists, Katie Gray, who provides specific information on how the implementation process works while offering recommendations and strategies to maximize the benefits of implementation.
Q1. Why is implementation so important?
We want to provide our clients with the best outcome during their transition to Medicat. Because we’re able to tailor the software to our clients’ needs, our Implementation Specialists collaborate very closely with our clients to personalize the implementation process to meet shared goals and timelines. We aim to demonstrate how to use the many tools available through our software so that our clients feel empowered to use the platform once they’ve officially “gone live.”
Q2. What does the implementation process generally look like?
Each implementation is tailored to the unique needs of the clients we’re working with. However, here’s a taste of what the implementation process generally looks like:
- After a client has signed their contract, they are assigned to work with an Implementation Specialist.
- A kick-off call is scheduled to bring key client stakeholders, the Implementation Specialist, and the Sales Executive together to discuss what implementation will look like.
- During the kick-off call, the Implementation Specialist will help the client set goals and agree on expectations for the process. Some clients may come in with a “launch day” in mind, which we try our hardest to accommodate. We also have the option to launch certain parts of the EHR software for clients who would prefer to take a more gradual approach to implementation.
- Next, the Implementation Specialist will dive into the initial setup. This includes setting up the database, adding the client’s custom branding to their new Patient Portal, organizing requirements for the demographic import file, setting up single sign-on, and creating the first user’s credentials and profile within the software.
From this point on, Medicat follows a standard Implementation Plan that we adjust to our client’s unique needs. After the kick-off call, there are typically 1-hour calls scheduled weekly between the Implementation Specialist and the client. In the first implementation call, we determine who will be involved in the implementation process, and a go-live date will be established based on the timeline that was discussed on the kick-off call.
Q3. How long does implementation take on average?
Implementation can take as little as one month. Medicat provides implementation “bootcamps” to rapidly configure the solution to your needs and train your team. Timelines can vary depending on your organization’s unique requirements (e.g., historical record import, 3rd party system interfaces, etc.).
Q4. Should your IT Department be involved with implementation?
Yes, after assessing the clinic’s needs and requirements, we then establish the key contacts from your IT Department and make introductions. We always encourage the key IT person professional who supports the clinic to be at least involved in the demographic file and single sign-on authentication setup process. Sometimes, we work with IT to plan the software installation and configuration process, as well. Finally, we work through any potential roadblocks to data migration.
Q5. What do you consider to be most important when it comes to change management? How about end-user adoption of the EHR?
What’s most important when it comes to change management is ensuring that the client understands that Medicat is here for them. We want to help our clients meet their clinic’s goals and ensure a seamless transition.
In addition to the implementation process, we have a dedicated team of Customer Support Specialists available to troubleshoot with clients as needed. Medicat also offers a robust online Help Center with a wide range of information that covers many common questions, details on product updates, video tutorials, and more. We never want a client to walk away from implementation feeling like they are on their own; they will always have ongoing support beyond the implementation phase.
Q6. Are there other trainings or resources available during the implementation process?
Depending on the products purchased, clients may have the opportunity to participate in “boot camps” conducted by Medicat, where they can gain a deeper understanding of how to utilize the software. These boot camps involve a collaborative process, allowing clients to exchange ideas and support one another as they go through implementation together.
Q7. What key factors make an implementation successful?
There are several factors that significantly contribute to a successful implementation:
- Quickly and clearly identify someone on the client’s team who acts as the “Super User” for their clinic. That way, we can work with this individual one-on-one using a sort of “train the trainer” model.
- It’s key that both the client and the Implementation Specialist enter this process with the goal of creating a true partnership. It’s super helpful when the client is comfortable providing us with feedback, is thoroughly engaged, and asks questions to aid their learning.
- Selecting a core group of staff and providers to go through implementation always streamlines the process. This allows us to be efficient with our weekly meetings. Of course, we can adjust certain weekly training to include a larger group of staff members, but having a core group to champion the transition and dive deep into the product tends to make all the difference.
Q8. Are there better times than others to plan to go through the Implementation Process?
We’ve noticed schools tend to maximize the benefits of implementation when they start in the middle of the fall semester, or at the beginning of the spring semester. This timing is usually when the staff is regularly available and keeps the information fresh.
It’s common for a school to want to kick off the implementation process at the beginning of the summer, but with vacation scheduling, logistics can be tough. Plus, staff and providers are not able to test their knowledge in the clinical environment until late August or early September, which makes it hard to truly integrate the product learnings into their daily practices.
With a thirty-year track record, Medicat has established itself as the foremost provider of software solutions for college health, serving more colleges and universities than all other EHR vendors combined. To optimize the transition to Medicat’s software, careful planning, effective communication, and comprehensive training of key clinic personnel are essential for maximizing the software’s potential and ensuring the best user (and student) experience. Through it all, we want you to know that we are here to support you and your team.