Suppose you are managing a project that will implement an EHR for a private clinic that employs ten doctors. During a meeting where the features and functionality of an e-prescription
module are being discussed, one doctor remarks before storming out, “I didn’t go to medical school to become a data entry clerk so that the pharmacy could hire one less tech to enter information into the system.” What could you do to change this doctor’s perception and behavior so that she would accept this transformation to EHR?
I suppose it depends precisely on the reason or reasons why the doctor opposing to using E-Health Records in the first place. We know that some people are just basically unable to receive any kind of change in their routines, rather than have a decent reason as to why they oppose.
First of all, I’ll try to understand the behavior of that doctor as his only objection seems like he doesn’t want to enter any data into computer. Well, in that case his behavior is pretty understandable as he might be used to the paper-based system a lot and in his mind, he thinks that it’ll be really hard for him to learn about the new computer-based system. It happens to many people all the time especially when they are moving from old and used to process to new computerized process.
I’d try to explain him by showing the advantages of EHR and showing disadvantages of paper-based system. I’d simply ask him about how he’s managing his client’s health records in papers right now. I’ll explain him that yes, paper-based systems are easy to setup but when it comes to review and manage hundreds of patients records, paper-based process is really hard and I’ll point out how easy it is to manage it on EHR by showing him how to manage the records on EHR.
I’ll explain the biggest con with paper-based records which is he has to physically keep all the papers for so long! One more harsh reality about keeping records in papers is that those papers can be destroyed or might get stolen. Also, creating lengthy paper records can take a lot long than creating a record in a computer.
I’d simply ask him the following questions and make him think about the current process he’s using:
Is it easy to find any patient’s info from tons of papers?
Even if you find it after some efforts, is it easy to understand the info? Is it easy to understand some other doctor’s handwriting? What do you usually do if the papers are too old and you can’t read clearly?
Can you easily review and update those paper-based records regularly? Do you think you’ll be able to keep any patient’s info using papers for even 5-10 years?
Once I get him understand the disadvantages of paper-based process, I’ll offer my help to overcome that fear of new system and change his mind set about paper-based process to computer-based system.
I’ll start the discussion by showing him the DEMO of EHR. I’ll show him how he can keep any supporting documents of any patient in the same place so that any doctor who uses EHR can easily see those documents and patient records as well and how EHR makes sharing of patient’s records so easy. I’ll explain him that it’s easy for him as well to view any patient’s records and make updates to those records. I’ll make sure to mention the draw back of paper-based process that how frustrating, extremely time-consuming and ineffective the paper-based system is as it’s really difficult to find and manage patient’s records in paper-based process.
I’ll also mention the benefit of storing the records online which is that the records can be backed up and recovered easily if something happens. Whereas in paper-based systems, there are very limited options or no options at all in terms of disaster recovery.
At the end, like a good salesman, I’ll summarize and explain the advantages of EHR to him in very effective manner using his own example and what he can achieve:
I’ll tell him that…
He can keep all his patient’s records easily in one place.
He can simply log into the system and everything will be there that he needs! And if he has an internet access, then he can access all the records of a client from any location.
The storage will be safe and secure, and he doesn’t need to worry about getting it stolen by someone.
He’ll have easier access to all clinical information.
It’ll be really easy for him to create and sustain efficient clinical workflows.
With computer-based records, there is less chances of making errors so he’ll have solid patient’s records with fewer errors which will help him in decision making.
The system will prompt him to enter some required data while in paper data entry no one will tell him what data entry he needs to care about.
The biggest advantages he’s going to have is that he can seamlessly interact with other doctors like himself and share patient’s records as well as ask for guidance. Not just other doctors but he can interact with all the affiliated clinics, pharmacies and hospitals.
EHR also helps pharmacists who distribute medications, many of them with possibly dangerous side-effects, to prevent any possibility of side-effects to the patients receiving a medication.
EHR can be a lifesaver for some patients if any doctor forgets to mention some allergies, or any ongoing treatments.
I just gave him a vision to go for with all the discussion above.
By emphasizing on the many advantages regarding patient care might make him consider EHR again. After all, isn’t taking care of people one of the reasons why anyone becomes involved in medical field?
I’ll tell him that yes, it’s hard to directly go from paper-based system to computer-based system but the change won’t come overnight. He’ll be trained for several weeks and he can start using it whenever he feels completely ready and the training team will make sure that it won’t affect your speed of work.
Lastly, I’ll give him chance to speak up his mind and share his concerns or questions with me and I’ll take interest in his questions genuinely. I’ll make sure that he won’t feel like I’m forcing him to use the computer-based system.