Over the past year, The HCI Group has led more Epic Go-Lives than any other firm. In this post, we pull from our experience some of the key areas to consider for end user satisfaction.
Customer service is a major part of any IT deployment especially in a healthcare setting. Users of computer systems, like most people, are nervous and confused by change. Changes in computer systems can seem extremely drastic to the end user and can lead to major frustrations that could ultimately impact employee satisfaction and patient care and in turn jeopardize the project.
Lowering of employee satisfaction and especially impact to patient care should always be keep as minimal as possible. This cannot be achieved without the support of the end users and the support of the end users cannot be won without excellent customer service from the analysts performing the deployment.
Epic Go-Live Adoption
When working with users it is very important to remember that these users did not choose a career in or go to school for IT. They chose a career in healthcare which is now being overrun by new technology. Users often times see the computer systems they are now being required to use as both a blessing and a curse with a curse being the general consciences for most. With the right attitude from the IT analysts this perception can be changed and the implementation of new hardware and/or software can be much easier for everyone involved.
Listening to Understand during an Epic Go-Live
There are several reasons that end users do not accept a new deployment. Getting to the root of why the users are resistant to new technology can have a major impact on the success or failure of a project. Finding and addressing these concerns could be as simple as speaking with and listening to the users, watching their normal workflow or speaking with the managers of each department about the concerns of their staff. Other times it can be a lot more complex but the best way to find and resolve these concerns is to go directly to the source….the users themselves. Many times the end users see changes as just something that someone higher up has decided on in their meetings to save money or address other issues that they see as unrelated to them or their job. Most of these concerns can be overcome very easily if the analyst takes the time to listen and address them directly with the users. Of course this should always be done with great caution to avoid interfering with the user’s normal work functions while always keeping in mind that the patient care is always the most important thing.
Ongoing Epic EMR Training
One of the biggest issues with implementing new software or hardware is that the user doesn’t understand why something new is coming their way when they see the old system as “working just fine”. This is usually easily overcome by educating the end users with some background information on the new software or hardware to be deployed and why this solution is better than the one that is currently in place. Some of the issues that the new solution is being implemented to address may not have been seen by the user or there may be new regulations that they are unaware of yet. Sometimes a simple explanation will remove some of the doubt and increase understanding of why things change. Think of this from the point of view of your automobile. If your mechanic tells you that everything is working correctly but he has a new part he would like to install at your expense. The first thing to come to mind is why do I need this if everything is working fine? However if he were to explain that this new part will greatly improve your fuel mileage that will save you money you would have a lot less resistance and be quicker to get on board with the idea. This same philosophy holds true with the deployment of Epic as well. If an end user understands how this new product will help improve patient care, make their daily lives easier, or keep them in compliance they will be more understanding of the change.
Another issue that is encountered with end users is the lack of understanding of how the new product works and how this will improve their current work flow. This can be addressed with education. One of the first steps that should be performed is watching and documenting the users current work flow. Then you can allow the user to perform the same work flow with the new system and point out the advantages along the way. This should be used in conjunction with answering the end users questions and addressing their concerns at each step.
End User Change Management – Winning Hearts & Minds
End users are almost always resistant to change. Winning the hearts and minds of end users is essential to any Epic implementation. The approach taken when introducing new technology to users is just as important as the technology being implemented. The implementation engineer should always spend time addressing the concerns of the end user as well as learning and understanding their daily workflow. Every member of the IT staff involved in an implementation should always being working to improve not only their technical skills but their customer service skills as well.
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