Going paperless is a long journey with occasional bumps on the road. At times, there may be a desire to abandon the process and slide back to what is already familiar and comfortable. This reluctance is particularly common for the team members who were not fully invested in the process from the beginning.
Consistent support from the top is critical to any implementation. If you want your team to remain fully committed, you must stay involved and on board the entire time. If you delegate this to a team member who already has a job description that keeps them busy, it likely will not get done. When the leader is engaged, engagement does not need to be mandated. In fact, the single biggest predictor of success is how involved the doctor is in the transition. If you understand and champion your technology, your team will follow.
An Implementation Champion is a member of your team who will guide the team through the implementation process. He or she will monitor progress to make sure you are on the right track, answer any questions, and provide support to the rest of the team.
Many dentists choose to designate an office manager or a scheduling coordinator to take the lead. That does not always have to be the case. Instead, look for positive, tech-savvy employees who can remain upbeat during challenging times and who have the patience to answer questions and spread excitement about your new resource.
Your Implementation Champion can be anyone in your office as long as they have these key traits:
- Aptitude to understand all elements of your paperless project
- Ability to motivate and inspire action
- Strong communication skills and ability to teach others
- Superior organizational skills
Most importantly, your ideal Implementation Champion is someone who loves and uses technology and strongly believes that the changes will bring positive transformations to the practice. Keep in mind that your Implementation Champion will only be successful if they receive continuous support from the dentist who stays engaged with the process for the entire team.