New Years Resolutions for EHR Users

As we start the new year, many people decide to assess where they are in life and prioritize some positive improvements. I’d like to offer the following New Year’s Resolutions for EHR users:

  1. Understand that your EHR is a tool. Just like your stethoscope, otoscope, and spreadsheets about your practice management, it takes time to make your use of the tool feel natural. Be patient and practice. Practicing medicine is not simple. Dedicating appropriate time to become proficient in using your EHR tool is a worthwhile investment.
  2. Be committed to ongoing improvement of the use of your EHR. The technology is not going away, and you aren’t going to maximize your use of the tool without commitment to continuously improving both the knowledge of how the system works and your skills. Develop the mindset that you will “never be done” as the tools keep getting more robust, and the certification requirements keep changing. Use the “Help” materials, attend webinars and conferences, ask questions, and empower your entire office team to improve their knowledge.
  3. Acknowledge your personal strengths and weakness as well as those of your office team. Work together as a team. That means being open and realistic about re-imagining office roles based on skills, expertise and willingness to adapt to the changing delivery of healthcare.
  4. Get involved in improving your EHR. Thank support, implementation and training experts for their assistance. If you have an idea, phrase it in a helpful way which includes “here is the problem I’m trying to solve.” Be an active participant in listservs and user feedback groups. Be part of the solution.
  5. Become part of your EHR user community. Connecting with colleagues all over the country who are innovating and adapting is empowering. Share what you know with others. Everyone benefits when we share our collective wisdom…but especially our patients. Which brings me to the most important New Year’s Resolution:
  6. Find a way to recapture the joy of practicing medicine. Most pediatricians went into this field because of the incredible satisfaction that comes with caring for children and families. Every day, take the time to give or receive a hug, reassure a frightened child or parent, and remember what a privilege it is to care for the future of our world.

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