Today's blog post comes from WebPT Copywriters Char Bohnett and Erica Cohen.

You’ve done your research; scoured the tradeshows; evaluated your options, and frankly, the writing’s on the wall: Digitally documenting with a rehab therapy-specific EMR just makes more sense than charting on paper—for your practice, for your patients, and for your sanity. But before you go ditching the pen and paper, you need buy-in, maybe from the clinic decision maker or maybe from your staff. Here’s how to go about pitching an EMR so everyone’s on board.

Tailor the Benefits
Sure, the EMR you have in mind (WebPT, of course) has tons of great benefits, everything from intuitive initial evaluations and professional finalized notes replete with your clinic’s logo to a color-coded front office scheduler and helpful alerts and reports. But no one wants to sit through a lengthy barrage of features (read: boring). Understand your clinic’s pain points first, and then tailor your conversation to how an EMR will help you solve these specific issues.

Have a front office staff who spends most of their time contacting patients to remind them they have upcoming appointments? Bring up the automatic appointment reminder feature, which can significantly reduce no-shows and cancellations, so your staff can focus on more pertinent items.

Have a clinic director who’s concerned about how much revenue he or she is losing each month because of missed referral opportunities? Remind him or her about the referral tracking report, which provides direct line of sight into which physicians are frequently referring your clinic’s services and which ones may need a reminder about your team’s fantasticness.

In short, create an emotional connection first by showing how your proposed EMR will address a real need and you’ll have one more advocate on your side.

Don’t Overpromise
No matter what you do, stick to the facts. There’s no question that an EMR will significantly benefit your clinic in everything from documenting and scheduling to billing and practice management, but it won’t do anyone good to overpromise. Be honest with your staff—there may be an adjustment period, a learning curve, and some time devoted to education. And your EMR definitely won’t do your entire job for you—or make you a latte (even though an EMR-barista would be pretty cool).

Even without overpromising, you can assure your director or staff that with the right training and the right solution, the transition and adoption process will be a breeze. Want back up? Check out what Jim Prussack, owner of In-Home Therapy Services, has to say about his clinic’s seamless transition to WebPT.

Facilitate Open Dialogue
Chances are you may field a few questions that you don’t have the answers to, and that’s okay, as long as you can organize a meeting with someone who does. If you really (really) want buy-in, let your team take the product on a trial run; be part of the online demonstration; and ask the EMR service’s representative a barrage of questions. Not only will you and your team get the answers you need, but you’ll get reassurance (and maybe even a pat on the back). And your potential EMR will prove their worth right off the bat.

Even after you use the aforementioned strategies, you might still experience apprehension and even some resistance. Know that it’s normal. The transition to an EMR can be quite the change, and for some, that’s nerve wracking. So, the biggest piece of advice we can give is to have patience and be understanding. Truly listen to your director or staff, and make sure that as you overcome their objections, you always focus on their needs. Highlight how an EMR can truly help them because that should ultimately be an EMR’s purpose.

Did you propose an EMR to your clinic director or staff? What techniques did you employ? Share your experiences below as a comment.

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