How to find the right EHR point person

October 25, 2017

Minimize or eliminate EHR frustration by dedicating a “superuser” in the practice.

For years, physicians have had a long list of frustrations with their electronic health record (EHRs) systems. However, they could minimize or even eliminate much of their frustration by dedicating a “superuser” in their practice.

“Everyone has different workflows, different processes, and they meet federal requirements in different ways, so you want someone who really understands how the software works with the processes in your office,” says Randi Terry, MBA, director of information services at Munson Healthcare, a regional nonprofit medical system in Traverse City, Michigan.

A superuser is someone who has a superior knowledge of the software and how it can be best utilized.

Scan your staff

Terry notes that physicians themselves shouldn’t take this on. She says some very tech-minded doctors do indeed work well in this role but most don’t have the time, or inclination, to focus on software.

In fact, the point person doesn’t even need to be a clinical staffer, Terry says. Physicians could train a current employee to do the job; larger practices could consider hiring someone for the position.

Employees who like challenges and are skilled at problem-solving and multitasking are good candidates. Office managers often assume the role but other staffers could also absorb the work within their existing positions.

Add training

Regardless of the individual’s background, this staff member needs to receive advanced training in the EHR-something that vendors generally offer either at the practice, at their own facilities or electronically via webinars.

 

Fit to workflow

Additionally, this employee should understand how the front and back office work, how the clinical side operates and how regulatory requirements fit in, “so they can make that software work for the practice,” Terry says.

She emphasizes that this position is not the same as bringing in a consultant. “They might give a best practice, and it might really be a best practice, but it might not work in that practice,” she says. 

Superuser benefits

  • Help everyone in the office maximize their use of the EHR for clinical, regulatory and operational requirements.

  • Instruct colleagues on how to better utilize the system and help train new workers on its use.

  • Guide physicians and other staffers through upgrades as features, functions and screens get added, changed or moved around.

  • Find opportunities to use the EHR to streamline processes and become more efficient and effective.