The use of digital technology is revolutionising healthcare globally. A prime example is the transition from paper-based records to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). This change streamlines access to patient information for healthcare providers and promotes easier sharing between professionals. As a result, there’s an improvement in communication and care coordination, which ultimately leads to enhanced health outcomes for patients. However, like any significant transformation, the shift to EMRs in care homes often encounters resistance from various stakeholders. Whether it’s due to fears of the unknown, potential workload increases, or a simple aversion to change, these hurdles can delay or derail the implementation of this beneficial technology. Implementing strategies to tackle resistance to EMR adoption in care homes requires careful planning and consistent effort. Here we explain some of the useful insights on addressing resistance to EMR adoption in care homes
- Identify the specific causes of resistance:
Resistance to change may stem from various factors. The fear of the unknown and concerns about potential increases in workload are common reasons that people might resist the shift to EMRs. It’s crucial to gain an in-depth understanding of the unique causes of resistance within your care home. Such an understanding allows for more effective strategies that directly address these issues.
- Ensure the participation and agreement of key stakeholders:
The implementation of EMRs can only be successful if all significant stakeholders are supportive of the initiative. Stakeholders in a care home can include administrators, nursing staff, physicians, and other members of the care team. Involve these stakeholders from the initial stages of the process, ensuring that their opinions are valued and their concerns are addressed. Continuous engagement with these stakeholders can foster a sense of ownership and commitment towards the successful implementation of EMRs.
- Offer comprehensive training and continuous support:
To help the staff understand the benefits of EMRs, provide robust training and consistent support. Training shouldn’t be a one-time event; instead, it should be an ongoing process that accommodates new functionalities and upgrades in the system. Continuous training and support can greatly enhance user comfort and proficiency, reducing resistance to the new system.
- EMRs should be easy to navigate and user-friendly:
They should feature a clear, intuitive user interface, which can make adoption smoother. Supplement this with thorough documentation, guides, and dedicated support, so users can seek help whenever they encounter difficulties.
- Adopt a phased implementation approach:
Instead of deploying a full-fledged EMR system all at once, it might be more effective to start with a small pilot project. This gives staff time to familiarise themselves with the new system, and any issues or challenges can be addressed on a smaller scale before expanding the project.
- Communicate the process and benefits effectively:
Transparent and regular communication with staff about the implementation process, its progress, and the benefits of EMRs is crucial to promoting acceptance. This communication should be tailored to the specific needs of your staff and should continue throughout the implementation phase, fostering a culture of openness and understanding.
- Exercise patience:
Transformation, especially digital ones, don’t occur overnight. Expecting immediate, universal acceptance is unrealistic. Patience and persistence are necessary to navigate the journey from initial resistance to eventual widespread adoption of EMRs. The process is gradual, and each step forward, no matter how small, is progress towards the larger goal. Keep the focus on the benefits of EMRs for patient care and organisational efficiency to motivate the team through the transition.
An electronic medication administration record, eMAR, is a specific type of EMR that is used for tracking medication administration. It records the time, date, dosage, and route of administration for each medication that a patient receives. EMARs can help to prevent medication errors and improve patient safety. If you are planning to implement eMAR at your care home, book a demo today.