How to Contend with Resistance to Change

Posted on the 13 August 2012 by Ironcomet @Ironcomet

In previous posts we have discussed the “transformation” to a digital system and how it affects the staff in a medical office.  Resistance to change is normal human behavior but can be managed to have a beneficial outcome.  Imposing a new workflow along with learning new systems can throw some people off their game so be patient with them as they go through their training.  EMR systems can be challenging to learn, especially if your staff is not technologically savvy.

By endorsing an EMR, you have committed to some standardization of the patient record.  Although there is creativity in the clinical process, this new form of record keeping will support automated checks for compliance and mandated data.  Clinical staff will see the most changes in their workflow and being aware of early opposition to the transformation is the best time to address it.  We have found that by including the staff in the choosing and implementation process, they will feel much more connected to the project and understand the significance of a new system.

Remember that your staff has worked successfully in a paper system up to this point.  And in any situation, human beings can become uncomfortable especially when it has a potential impact on their livelihood.  Your ability to work with your staff and understanding the fear that comes with new procedures will be imminent to having a successful implementation.  There will be new frameworks for tasks associated with the EMR project.  Having good trainers and allowing for a smooth transition will help with the hesitancy some will have.  As we have seen in other industries, automation of work processes is inevitable.  Methods of reporting and record keeping will be different in the future of healthcare and may even, in the short run, increase the time it takes to complete a task.

The profound shift for your practice will be, in the end, a productive one.  Documentation of clinical information will continue to be important second only to the treatment of the patient.  You can prepare for this challenge by speaking with other professionals who have undertaken the implementation of an EMR and ask them how the staff reacted to changes.

Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical EMR is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit


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