Discussion: Let’s discuss customization – do you feel it may help staff become more accepting of moving to an EHR? Why or why not?
Tailoring an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to fit the specific needs and workflows of different healthcare providers can facilitate staff acceptance of the transition. Customization can alleviate concerns and challenges associated with the change (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). Here are some reasons why customization can help staff embrace the move to an EHR system. Customizing the EHR system to match healthcare organizations’ existing workflows can make staff feel more comfortable and confident in using the system (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). This reduces the learning curve and minimizes disruption to their daily routines, making the transition less overwhelming. Incorporating familiar processes and terminology is key to achieving this workflow alignment (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a).
By customizing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) to cater to the specific needs of a healthcare organization, productivity and efficiency can be enhanced. Staff members are more likely to adopt the system when they see that it supports their specific tasks and responsibilities. Automating routine tasks, streamlining documentation, and facilitating communication through tailored EHRs can save time and effort, which significantly boosts staff acceptance (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). Empowering staff members by involving them in the customization process can make them feel valued. To gather insights and requirements for the EHR customization, organizations can seek input from various stakeholders, including frontline staff (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). When staff members feel that their opinions are heard and their needs are considered, they are more likely to embrace the change and feel invested in the success of the EHR implementation (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a).
One common challenge when implementing new technology is resistance to change. However, this resistance can be reduced through customization (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). By addressing staff concerns and adapting the electronic health record (EHR) to their preferences, customization can make the transition feel less disruptive. Features that align with workflows and address specific pain points can also make the EHR more intuitive for staff members (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a).
Maintaining a balance between customization and standard functionality is crucial. Over-customization may result in complex and fragmented systems that are hard to maintain and upgrade (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). Thus, it is necessary to maintain a standard core EHR functionality while allowing essential customization that caters to the specific requirements of each healthcare organization (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). To make the transition to an electronic health record (EHR) easier for staff, customization can be a useful strategy (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a). By customizing the EHR to fit existing workflows, it can improve efficiency, empower users, and reduce resistance to change. This can ultimately lead to a smoother transition process and increase staff adoption of the new system (M Beth Shanholtzer & Ensign, 2021a).
M Beth Shanholtzer, & Ensign, A. L. (2021a). Integrated electronic health records. New York: Mcgraw Hill Llc.
Student 2: Pradeep
I believe that customization can help staff become more accepting of moving to an EHR. One reason is that, when moving to an EHR, staff can often feel a sense of a loss of control. This feeling can be scary, especially for those that are not as tech savvy and struggle with technology in general. If they are given the options to customize, they feel some level of control which can help acclimate them to the software and feel more comfortable with the move. According to Shanhoitzer, “Care providers, and healthcare professionals in general, will be more accepting of an EHR if they know they have a some say in the appearance of the information and can customize it to meet the needs of the facility”. Another reason is that if they are allowed to customize the screen appearance of the information, they are more likely to make it fit best to be able to do their job without too much hassle. Having every screen appear the same for everyone may not be a positive thing for everyone because it can interfere more with their day-to-day activities and efficiency with which they complete tasks. As an example of how customization is helpful is, in the software my company provides for patient progression to hospitals, one of the modules within the software is mostly used by the nursing staff and it is possible to customize the view so that each nurse can see just their patients. This makes it easier for them because they don’t have to hunt around several screens to find their patients if there are too many.