Overcoming resistance to electronic health records

May 10, 2011

Demonstrate benefits of EHRs to reluctant physicians.

Q: Our small group practice has been using an electronic health record (EHR) system for 2 weeks. There has been some resistance by a doctor to use the software because he believes he gives up the face-to-face time with the patient and it will slow him down. How can we win him over so he can achieve meaningful use of EHRs?

A: You've taken the first step-congratulations on that! You are only 2 weeks into your EHR, so be patient. It can take some practices months to fully adapt their workflows to using the new tool. As you consider your goal of achieving meaningful use to qualify for the incentives, keep in mind that the one key action item for the physician is to order medications and e-prescribe. Take a close look at the 15 core objectives for meaningful use and you'll find that the physician's support staff should capture much of the data at registration and intake/rooming. Train your staff to interview the patients during the rooming process and build your intake template (if your EHR doesn't already have it as a standard function) to gather those core objectives. Your EHR super-user will build the clinical decision support rules that prompt your rooming staff and also monitor compliance to the core objectives and your selection of the optional menu set requirements. Continue to incrementally move your technology adoption forward and demonstrate the benefits to your physician.