Is Your Staff Hostile to Mental Health EHR?!
by Leigh-Ann Renz, 10.2.12 (revised & updated on 7.1.15)
Are you communicating resistance to behavioral health software?
One of the most common challenges that we’ve encountered in practices considering implementing a behavioral health EMR is that, while some of the therapists and administrative staff are excited, others aren’t. They feel intimidated by giving up the familiarity of paper for a completely electronic program and feel threatened by being required to change their methods.
If your staff is reluctant or even hostile about switching from paper to a mental health practice management software - or switching from one EMR to another - they are much more likely to find fault with the system you propose or choose.
If you yourself aren’t completely sure that you want to make the jump - if you feel that you’re being forced into electronic records to keep up with shifting industry standards, take financial advantage of the Meaningful Use incentives, or for any other reason, be self aware. Your attitude just might set the practice-wide stage for implementation failure!
What we expect is what we get - our expectations literally create our reality...
Be honest with yourself about your fears, hopes and—you’ve got it—expectations about any major change within your practice, including implementing an EHR. Until you’re 100% confident about switching to a new system, you cannot expect your staff to feel secure about your decision. Start with yourself and work through any resistance you may have until you are completely behind your choice before approaching your employees.
Setting the expectation that you will calmly and firmly resolve any issues that might arise from practice management system implementation and setting a high bar of positivity for yourself about the change will greatly enhance the chances of a smooth roll out.
After you’re completely ready, prepare yourself to communicate the adoption of mental health software. Consider different scenarios that might take place when you unveil your decision to the team, and set realistic expectations about how they might react so that you can prepare:
- How will you respond if your staff balks at the requirement?
- If the implementation process is painful or dramatic?
- If team members feel threatened or take your decision as a personal critique of the way they currently do business?
- Or if everyone is excited about the potential benefits of making the switch?
- Are there associates you can call on to be supportive and help more resistant employees in making the transition?
- How might you assign specific tasks to different team members to honor their feelings but still make the most of their strengths and talents?
Use the resources in your therapist toolbox to prepare yourself with positive responses and constructive solutions to potential reactions. Setting the expectation that you will calmly and firmly resolve any issues that might arise from practice management system implementation and setting a high bar of positivity for yourself about the change will greatly enhance the chances of a smooth roll out. Remember and harness the power of the mind to create a supportive reality at your agency.