Whether large or small, all practices go through an initial adjustment period after installing an electronic health record (EHR) system. Both clinical and administrative staff need to master the new system and try to integrate “paperless” processes into their existing workflows. Not surprisingly, the number of patient visits per day temporarily decreases.4
During this learning stage, technical support is crucial. While a small practice may have the same IT needs as a large, hospital-owned practice, it rarely has the same IT support resources. This lack of onsite support draws out the EHR adjustment period anywhere from three to six months.
Over time, this lost income from work slow downs can even outpace licensing and hardware costs. Without a properly supported transition process, implementing health IT can actually hurt a small practice.
Dolan, Pamela. “EMR not boosting productivity? It could be a mismatch between system and specialty.” American Medical News. 17 Jan. 2011