Three Key Principles that Helped Drive EHR Implementation Success During COVID


Streamline Healthcare Solutions, a leader in building innovative technology solutions for the behavioral health and human services market, successfully completed the most implementations of its SmartCare™ EHR in the company’s history in 2021. However, it was a challenge that Streamline had to do so in the remote and virtual world of COVID-19.

Overcoming Challenges During COVID: Three Principles

Implementing an enterprise Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is typically a hands-on, high-touch initiative. Streamline had to quickly pivot from its typical in-person training to a fully remote onboarding experience. 

The challenges:

Adding to the challenge were other COVID-related factors that many of the new customers were facing. 

  • Staffing shortages
  • Changes in organization operations and processes
  • Budget and revenue stream uncertainty
  • Zoom fatigue and increased distractions 
  • Balancing work-life issues in a work-from-home environment

The solutions:

To overcome these challenges, the Streamline implementation team focused on the following three principles:

  1. Redesign training to fit customer needs in a virtual environment
  2. Find ways to build relationships with customers remotely
  3. Provide customers with compassionate support 

Flexible & Effective Remote-Focused Training 

Streamline adjusted the length and format of training to the needs of a virtual environment, creating more flexible and remote-oriented sessions and materials for end-users. 

Among other things, Streamline shortened training sessions and recorded them. This allowed customers to access training on-demand to accommodate diverse work-from-home schedules.

Streamline also created certification processes by awarding customers certificates and gifts to make the virtual training experience a little more tangible and personal.

Remote Relationship Building

Building connections with people is an important part of any new relationship, particularly an EHR implementation. Many of Streamline’s trainers have experience working for behavioral health organizations themselves. They were able to leverage their previous experiences to better connect with their new customers despite not having the chance to meet them in person.

As one client commented: 

“We greatly appreciate the Streamline implementation team’s attentiveness and patience. They’ve gone out of their way to walk us through the building and implementation process step by step. We could not have asked for better partners.” 

Compassionate Support

Another challenge was that many Streamline customers were facing the additional stresses common to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ranging from  separating home life from work life, dealing with at-home schooling, and concern for elderly relatives. 

Streamline’s implementation team members increased the frequency of their outreach to individual customers, checking-in not only on how they were doing with the implementation but also on how they were doing personally.

“Implementations are more about the people than the software,” Streamline’s VP of Implementation shared. 

“In many cases, implementation team members got to know the customers better as people because of the unique circumstances of implementing an EHR during COVID,” she added.

For more information on Streamline’s SmartCare™ EHR system or our implementation process, request a demo