Communication during an EHR System Implementation

Communication during an EHR System Implementation

Colorado Technical University

Administration in Healthcare Services HAS 320

Change is inevitable truth. Change is a necessary occurrence not only in life, but as well in business. Business must adapt to the changes that occur in society, the economy, and even new laws and regulations. If an organization resists or ignores change, then they will as an organization. Change can have a significant impact on employee’s motivation and productivity. Organizations need to prepare their employees so that when the change occurs there is a smooth transition. The smooth transition and preparedness comes from organizations communicating with their employees. An employee’s willingness to accept and adapt to change is heavily dependent upon them knowing the reasons and benefits of the change. A smooth transition during an EHR implementation is imperative because the organization needs to continue seeing patients.

Change is an automatic switch for fear to be turned on. People in general fear the unknown and this is what change brings; the unknown. Fear is associated with change because the change is more than likely out of the employee’s comfort zone. Some employees flourish and thrive on this fear while fear affects others motivation. Extinguishing these fears takes communicating with employees CITATION Gil09 l 1033 (Gilley, Gilley, & McMillan, 2009). Let the employee express their fears and use the information to give them reassurance.

Change can also bring out employee’s insecurities. These insecurities can stifle productivity and motivation with an EHR system being a technological change, employees may begin to question their skills to be able to work with an EHR system. Change can affect employee motivation due to employees being concerned about their job security. Certain employees may feel that EHR may take over what they do leaving no need for their employment.

Communication goes a long way in the implementation of an EHR system. Communication before and during an EHR system implementation can help answer employees questions, calm employees fears, and keep them focused and motivated. Let them know that some aspects of their jobs will change, but not for the bad. Notify the employees that the EHR system can enhance their current skills as well as enable them to become even more efficient than they already are CITATION Wes12 l 1033 (Westgate, 2012). Allow employees to offer their input about the EHR implementation. Give employees the opportunity to get involved by asking them their suggestions and ideas, that way they will feel more secure in their position as well as involved in the process. Show the employee that part of the success of the organization is due to their contributions and they are important for future success. Address questions as openly and honestly as possible. Keep the employees fully informed and involved during the EHR implementation CITATION Pol08 l 1033 (Polack, 2008). Communicate the logic and benefits of an EHR system. Detail the benefits that employees will get from the EHR system, as well as improved quality of care given to the patients.

One of the biggest challenges the organization will face in the implementation of an EHR system is training employees on the new system CITATION Fir13 l 1033 (First Insight, 2013). There most likely will be employees that have computer skills that are more advanced than others are. The important goal is to complete an assessment on your employees’ basic computer skills CITATION Fir13 l 1033 (First Insight, 2013). Getting a complete understanding of where your employees technological skills are will enable you to develop a thorough training plan. It will take time for the employees to learn and be comfortable using the new technology. Allow employees to adjust by introducing new sections in increments. Overwhelming employees with constant new material instead of allowing them to digest what was just taught could ultimately hinder the EHR implementation CITATION Wes12 l 1033 (Westgate, 2012). Part of the budget for the new EHR system should include hiring onsite training. By having onsite training available, employees’ questions will be answered as they arise. In addition, onsite training will know how to handle and teach employees at all technological ability levels.

The key during this implementation is to be patient and supportive. Your employees are trying to deal with this change while fulfilling their job responsibilities. Let them know that you are going to be there to provide support, encouragement, and even gratitude during this stressful time.


BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 Crosnick, M. (2012). EHR Implementation Process Requires Communication. Retrieved from HITECH:

First Insight. (2013). Successful EHR Implementation: It’s More About “How You Manage People” . Retrieved from’s-About-Managing-People.pdf

Gilley, A., Gilley, J., & McMillan, H. (2009). Organizational Change: Motivation,Communication, and Leadership Effectiveness. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 75–94.

Healey, B., & Marhese, M. (2012). Foundations of Health Care Management Principles and Methods. San Francisco: Wiley.

Polack, P. (2008). Preparing the Staff for EMR. Retrieved from Medical Practice Trends:

Westgate, A. (2012). How to Ensure a Successful EHR Implementation at Your Medical Practice. Retrieved from Physicians Practice: