An EMR conversion is the common term for when a hospital switches their medical records from paper to electronic, or from one type of electronic storage software to another. ‘EMR’ stands for Electronic Medical Records. Examples of some of the most widely used EMR/EHR systems include Cerner, McKesson, Epic, Allscripts, and eClinicalWorks.
Why do EMR Conversions happen?
A section of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 declared that all healthcare providers must adopt and demonstrate a meaningful use of electronic medical records. The goal of this legislation was to improve quality, safety and privacy levels of medical records for both patients and practitioners.
While most hospitals have already complied with the new law to one degree or another, there are still training and systems adjustments underway all across the country.
What happens during the EMR Conversion?
While electronic medical records have proven to be big improvement over antiquated paper systems, sometimes the conversion period itself is a tough transition. The EMR conversion process can take months to complete. There must be rigorous planning beforehand and training for all staff using the new systems.
Taking an EMR Conversion assignment
During the EMR conversion many facilities bring in additional nurses, either to provide patient care while their staff trains on the new systems or to provide the training itself.
While most travel nursing jobs are typically 13 weeks long, conversion assignments may be shorter or longer, and may include additional perks like bonuses or increased pay.
Our traveling nurses often provide training and education for the EMR conversion. If brought in as an EMR conversion specialist, you will be asked to have strong proficiency with whichever EMR system the facility is using. This is a highly desired skill, and nurses who are able to train on EMR systems are in high demand!
In other cases, our travel nurses simply cover shifts for nurses and other medical staff during the transition, ensuring the patients are seamlessly receiving top-notch care. Our team is there for initial training, throughout implementation, and even after EMR conversion is finished, as the hospital desires.
Whether you’re just getting started or you’re an experienced traveler, trustaff’s team of career specialists are always at the ready to help you become the most successful traveling nurse you can be! Contact us at 877-880-0346 or apply online today.
This article is sponsored by Travel Nurse Across America®
Guest Post By: Brittany Bennett
Over the years, EMR conversions have become a very popular reason to hire travel nurses. Facilities across the country are changing or upgrading their EMR systems and require an increase in staffing to perform these changes and get everyone trained on the new system. One of my very first travel assignments was an EMR conversion. I had no idea what to expect and was nervous enough being a newbie to travel nursing. Little did I know, it would be one of my better contracts and the knowledge learned would assist me in many other assignments and areas of my life. While working EMR conversions can come with challenges, here are five reasons why they just may be one of your greatest travel assignments.
Strengthening your resume
It’s no surprise that being able to operate more than one EMR system comes in handy as a nurse. We are already some of the best multi-taskers in the business, and being able to go from job to job while easily adapting to a different computer program makes you even more marketable for future jobs. With the market becoming more and more competitive for desirable locations and pay, being able to list a knowledge base of several EMR systems and completion of conversion assignments may give you a boost above another applicant.
Learning a new skill
Travel nurses are regularly referred to as adventure seekers. We like challenges and welcome new information. If you are already familiar with an EMR system, then life will just be all the easier for you. While permanent staff are stressed out and possibly struggling with changes, your presence will be doubly valued and you may be asked to be a resource or even placed in a position of supervision during the conversion. If the system is new to you, classes are required during your contract and often take the place of bedside hours worked during that time. During my first EMR conversion, I had two and a half weeks of classes and limited bedside hours. Getting paid to learn a new skill and taking a break from patient care can be very nice!
Opportunity for better pay
EMR conversions can be demanding. You are balancing patient care along with the system conversion and it is no doubt a high stress environment for everyone working, especially during a “go-live” shift. Because of the extra strain on the staff, hospitals will sometimes offer incentive for their permanent staff and pay their travelers a higher rate than a non-conversion assignment. Conversions are also more popular in higher paying states like California or Massachusetts. While the pay may not be a deciding factor when considering an EMR conversion, a little extra cash for off-day adventuring never hurts.
Make more travel buddies
During my first EMR conversion assignment, I was one of 10-12 travel nurses in the emergency department where I was working. This made for instant new friends and travel partners. Hospitals going through EMR conversions need lots of additional staff and you have a better chance at not being the only traveler in your department (been there, done that) by working a conversion. Permanent staff members are also fun friends (I’ve made some great ones!), but fellow travel nurses tend to understand the lifestyle a little better and are almost always up for exploring the temporary surroundings.
Let’s be honest here. I don’t know a single nurse who would turn down free food. Funny yes, but what’s better than the sudden appearance of a delicious pizza, sub sandwich or chocolate during a crazy shift? The hospital and management know the staff is under pressure, and they are typically good at showing up with or sending in food during those times. Sometimes even the physicians and/or staff purchase food for the shift or organize a pot luck meal. It’s a nice perk, even if it isn’t the first or last thing you think of when deciding on an assignment.
As mentioned, EMR conversions are not without challenges or issues. Travel nurses must be ready to take on the demands of such an assignment. Showing up with a positive attitude and readiness to learn or help teach is a necessity in these types of jobs. If you have ever considered or are considering working an EMR conversion, I urge you to try it at least once. The advantages far outweigh the bad stuff and you won’t be disappointed.
About Travel Nurse Across America:
Travel Nurse Across America places registered nurses on multi-week travel nursing assignments in healthcare facilities across all 50 states. We offer our travel nurses a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid sick leave, travel expense reimbursement up to $1,000, all necessary licenses and certifications paid or reimbursed, day-one insurance, and multiple bonus opportunities. Whatever adventure you seek – exciting locations, higher pay or the opportunity to advance your skills – TNAA’s experienced recruiters are ready to help you grow your nursing career through travel nursing. For more information on assignments with Travel Nurse Across America, including EMR-related assignments, please, visit Travel Nurse Across America.