Are you transitioning to a new EHR?  It’s exciting to imagine the benefits you’ll enjoy when your new system is finally in place — but it can be a little nerve-racking to consider the process of getting there.  (If you’ve already done it once, you know that unexpected things can go wrong — and that your practice productivity can take a hit while you try to resolve surprise snags.)

Your best defense: planning.  To paraphrase President Eisenhower’s famous quote,  plans may ultimately be useless in preparing for battle, because surprise problems are almost inevitable, but the experience of planning is indispensable. 

Setting aside enough time for planning allows your entire team to understand the scope of what you’re undertaking. It puts the challenge into a realistic frame, to help head off frustration when things don’t proceed perfectly. It helps you recognize the pieces of your implementation that will cause the biggest headaches if they fail, so you can prioritize better. And, while the point of Eisenhower’s quote is that it’s impossible for any plan to predict everything that could go wrong, planning does give you the opportunity to prevent some problems before you get started.

The process of planning may feel like wasted time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Rushing in without allowing enough time for planning increases the likelihood of a difficult problem that isn’t easily solved while you’re up and running. It’s much harder to repair the automobile while you’re rolling down the freeway.

If you’ve got an EHR transition coming up, I hope you’ll join my upcoming webinar (free), “Five Tips for an Optimal EHR Transition,” on March 15 at 11AM Pacific.

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