How to Keep Your Job After EMR Implementation
By: Andrea Santiago
Healthcare is a high-growth industry that is relatively recession-resistant, meaning it continues to grow and add jobs, even in a recessive economy. However, jobs may be shifted or redistributed from one area to another, as technology changes, as trends evolve, and demands ebb and flow for various specialties and modalities of medicine.
The implementation of EMR (electronic medical records) is causing some of this change to occur in the workforce. If your employer has not yet completed the transition to EMR and fully implemented this technology, you may be wondering how your job will be affected, and if your job will be eliminated completely.
If your job has anything to do with patient documentation or information management, you will be affected to some degree. The extent to which your job is affected, and whether or not your job is eliminated, depends on your flexibility and adaptability. The good news is that the American Medical News recently published a report showing that EMR implementation does not always result in job cuts, and sometimes new jobs are created when EMR is implemented.
How can you ensure that your job is one of the ones that saved, as opposed to being one of the jobs that is eliminated? How can you keep your job and come through the EMR implementation with your job intact? Even if you do not expect to lose your job, it may be helpful to know how to prepare for the EMR implementation so that you are ready for the long, arduous process.
If you are part of the medical records team, or the Health Information Management team, your job could be at risk in an EMR transition, unless you are proactive, flexible, and adaptable. In any employment situation, when change happens, the people who are flexible enough to "go with the flow" are the ones who will succeed.
Here are some tips that may help you save your job, and to prepare to successfully endure the EMR transition:
- Communicate: Ask questions – when will the transition take place? How can you help? How will your responsibilities change? Be sure to communicate your willingness to take on new responsibilities and learn new skills and processes.
- Learn: Once you know what is needed by your employer, you can take steps to either take new classes, or training. If you have been primarily in a paper-based role, you will need to be comfortable with new technical skills and software.
- Tweak: Monitor your progress and check in with your supervisor to make sure they are pleased with your new responsibilities. Be sure that you are on the same page with the changes in your role. You can’t possibly communicate too much during a major transition such as this.
- Adapt: Implement your new skills, and amaze your coworkers!