Looking to Switch Software? 5 Tips for a Seamless Transition

With new methods of treatment, updated technologies and cutting-edge research moving the field forward, healthcare is constantly evolving. This means every aspect of patient care has to keep up, including the software you use day in and day out. While taking on a new platform can be a daunting process since it impacts every aspect of your business, you can significantly mitigate the disruption to your patients and staff by planning ahead. That is why we have broken down “the switch” into these five painless steps.

  1. Communication Is Key

Implementing a new software platform doesn’t begin when you introduce employees to the tool. It should start weeks or months ahead of time when you formulate a plan of how to seamlessly make the transition as well as communicate with your employees and patients effectively. Make sure to frame the necessity for the switch in terms that will benefit not only clinical operations but most importantly the delivery of care to your patients.

  1. Take Your Time and Focus On Your “Why”

Before buying new software, you need to clarify your goals and what you hope to achieve through the implementation. Outline the reasons for taking on a new platform—and use them to guide your decision-making. Will your new solution save time? Will it decrease cost? Will it improve patient outcomes? Make a list of your needs and rely on it as you review all of your options. It is important that you also take your time to research several solutions in order to gain a full understanding of their features and benefits. Through this analysis, you should feel confident that you are selecting the right software to meet the goals you have defined for your practice.

  1. Look For Longevity

Switching technology is not a process you want to repeat any time soon. With the future of your practice in mind, make certain you choose your new platform wisely. Ask yourself where you want your business to be five years from now. In what direction do you see your practice going? Consider the growth of your company and anticipate the complex needs that may arise with those developments. Then choose the software that fits your vision and doesn’t limit your employees or patients.

  1. Plan For Training

Anticipate the time everyone may need to acclimate to a new user interface as well as utilize the support of your staff to encourage patients to embrace these changes for the better. In fact, training for software doesn’t have to feel boring or dreary and there’s a lot more you can do than create a PowerPoint presentation: 

  • Set up interactive activities that give your employees hands-on time with the software.
  • Feed them. Have snacks readily available or a catered luncheon. It doesn’t have to be a nine-course meal; finger sandwiches, vegetable trays, doughnuts and coffee will do the trick. 
  • Even adults enjoy games, so wrap your learning objectives in game-style presentations. Think “Jeopardy” for software platform implementation.

Be patient with yourself and your team as you navigate the switch and leverage customer support whenever necessary. After your employees start getting comfortable with the new software platform, take the time to recognize positive behavior by giving a “thank you” shout-out to employees who have adapted well to the new solution. 

  1. Collaborate With Your Patients

Patients don’t always welcome change to their healthcare any more than employees welcome change in their workplace. To maintain retention and boost satisfaction, effective communication is imperative. 

  • Let your patients know about the change and keep them in the loop.
  • Have staff available to answer questions from patients and clients as they arise.
  • Focus on the reasons why you’re making the switch and emphasize the benefits your patients will gain from it.
  • Stress that your software is geared toward seamlessly forging a working connection between your healthcare practice and the patients you serve.

“Raintree’s support staff are so helpful. We can’t say enough nice things about them. They have all made it so easy to switch to Connect from Strive/WebPT.” – HealthQuest Physical Therapy. Read more here.

Change is difficult for most of us; however, by stressing the positives the new software brings to your patients and staff, you’ll make your transition much smoother. With proper preparation, adopting new technology doesn’t need to be a significant disruption. Plan ahead, choose the solution that will meet your needs now as well as in the future and communicate every step of the way. Research your options, solicit input from your staff/patients and define the vision you have for the future of your practice. Also be sure to understand the difference between integration and implementation. Click here to learn more about healthcare interoperability.