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AAOS Now

Published 11/1/2009

Sample EMR implementation survey

  1. How much do you know about electronic medical record (EMR) systems?
    a. Almost nothing
    b. Somewhat
    c. A few things
    d. A great deal

    Comment:
    Sometimes less is better. Having preconceived notions about EMR systems can create false expectations.
  2. What are your expectations of the new EMR system?
    a. The EMR system will improve productivity and office efficiency starting on day one.
    b. The EMR system will improve productivity and office efficiency over time as the practice becomes accustomed to using it.
    c. The EMR system is just a replacement for traditional paper-based patient folders.
    d. The EMR system is unlikely to improve productivity and office efficiency.

    Comment:
    If the physicians’ responses are overwhelmingly negative or unrealistically optimistic, work on resetting the expectations.
  3. Please rate your computer skills.
    a. Poor
    b. Adequate
    c. Excellent

    Comment:
    If the physicians respond overwhelming with “C,” you need to follow up and ask them to prove it. Adopting and learning a new computer program requires patience and a commitment to training to use all program features effectively.
  4. How many hours of training are you willing to devote to learning the new system?
    a. 4
    b. 8
    c. 12
    d. 16 or more

    Comment:
    At minimum, a training program requires 16 hours.
  5. What should be the staff’s role in ensuring successful EMR implementation?
    a. The practice’s physicians have a major role in successful implementation.
    b. The nurses and staff will drive usage and successful implementation.
    c. Physicians can use paper charts, and the staff will transfer the patient information to the EMR system.

    Comment:
    If the physicians’ responses indicate strong reliance on staff, you can expect them to resist training activities and the time commitment needed to gain the necessary skills for implementation.
  6. Is it acceptable to close the office to conduct a training program?
    a. Yes
    b. No

    Comment:
    No one wants to close the office for training. Scheduling the training sessions to minimize disruption will take guile and guts, but attendance at the sessions must be mandatory.
  7. During implementation, to what degree should patient volume be reduced during the initial weeks using the new EMR system?
    a. Up to 5%
    b. 5% to 10%
    c. 10% to 15%
    d. 15% to 20%

    Comment:
    To avoid problems, work with the scheduling staff to reduce patient appointments by 10 percent to 15 percent. You don’t want to keep patients waiting just because you are having trouble entering data in a computer program.
  8. Do you believe the new EMR system will affect patient relations (communication)?
    a. Yes
    b. No

    Comment:
    The following statement will go a long way toward maintaining patient communication and satisfaction during the implementation process: “If it is okay with you, I’ll make some notes in our electronic record so I can be sure to remember important points about this visit.”
  9. Do you believe the new EMR system will affect patient care?
    a. Yes
    b. No

    Comment:
    Negative responses indicate a lack of awareness regarding the benefits of an EMR system. Training and implementation might be difficult and should include reinforcement about the benefits of an EMR system