Nurse updating electronic medical record on tablet
Nursing AMN Insights February 8, 2016

Computer Conversion Made Easy: Travel Nurses Aid in EMR Transition

The Challenge

During this time of immense change, South Georgia turned to AMN Healthcare and their EMR-experienced, quick-start, short-term staffing solutions, to help the hospital plan for their evolving needs. With access to the largest network of healthcare professionals, SGMC was able to find the nurses they needed at the times they needed them.

For more information on the AMN Healthcare Computer Conversion Program, and how we can help your EMR staffing needs, visit us here.

As a critical component of patient care, nurses have to constantly adapt to changes in technology. One of the newest, most widespread of these technological changes is the implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs).

So when a facility such as South Georgia Medical Center wanted to convert from paper charts to EMRs, they needed to ensure that their patients would still receive the highest quality care while their core nursing staff was learning the new and complex EMR system.

Amanda Wentworth, a professional recruitment coordinator for SGMC, summarized it like this.
“We’ve gone through a lot of growth, and as our ER expanded from 22 to 42 beds, we introduced a hospitalist program and a rollout of the EMRs. We’ve had a lot of projects going on, and we needed to get experienced help in pretty fast for the ER and some other areas that were growing so rapidly.”

South Georgia Medical Center took a unique approach to EMR conversion. Instead of a complete transition throughout the hospital, they sectioned the units for individual implementation. Before their expansion and EMR rollout, the facility reduced the number of travel nurses and utilized per diem nurses to supplement gaps in staffing. However, with so many changes taking place at one time, the facility decided that having consistent temporary staff, like travel nurses, would lead to more consistent, quality patient care.

“We work with some per diem companies, and most of them are local,” said Wentworth. “I thought going with travel nurses would be best for the conversion. I knew how long I needed them, and I knew I would need them for set assignment lengths.”

Since each unit was undergoing the conversion separately, Wentworth needed supplemental nurses across all specialties at different times to assist in patient care during each unit’s conversion.

AMN Healthcare Had The Right Solution

“Response times are immediate, almost like magic,” noted Wentworth. “I’ve got exactly what I wanted, which is spoiling me for other staffing companies.”

In addition to finding the right staff, Wentworth was impressed by the impeccable customer service she received from AMN Healthcare.

“I didn’t have any issues at all. It was great. We were always able to get the people we needed quickly with all their credentialing in order. Supplemental nurses were used for patient care during the transition,” said Wentworth. “We’re here to serve people and be excellent in that, and having the supplemental nurses really helped.”

The Results

South Georgia Medical Center was so impressed with the caliber of the nurses, the customer service, and the rapid response to their needs that they are now an AMN Preferred Client. With their successful EMR conversion and the expansion of the facility, South Georgia felt confident that AMN Healthcare could provide them with the right healthcare staff as they continue to grow. In addition, as Preferred Client, they are eligible for volume rate options, prioritized recruitment efforts, and other benefits.

“We’ll have a lot more growth coming up in the future,” noted Wentworth. “With AMN, if we need something emergent, we know how to reach someone to get the help we need.”

How AMN Healthcare Did It

In addition to staffing nurses from a variety of specialties, AMN Healthcare's computer conversion program staffs nurses who are pre-trained in the most commonly used EMR programs. South Georgia Medical Center needed EMR trained nurses, so AMN Healthcare provided the answer. With a complete roster of experienced EMR nurses, training time was minimized, and the nurses were able to quickly take on patient care while core staff was trained.  

The Right Guidance Makes A Big Difference

Kim Martini, Senior Director at AMN Healthcare, advises healthcare providers to do their homework when choosing an EMR conversion staffing agency. “Start by looking for an industry leader with experience staffing other conversions, so you can tap into their past experience and use them as a resource. They should have nurses that are some of the best in the field.”

Among other things, they should be able to help healthcare facilities: 

  • Determine how many healthcare professionals they’ll need
  • The length of time they’ll need support
  • The best way to utilize the supplemental nursing personnel

In addition, Martini says, “You’ll also want to work with an agency that has a large supply of quality nurses with computerized charting experience. This way, you can simplify an already complicated process by having one experienced contact person for your supplemental staff and trust that the nurses are some of the best in their field.”

Contact Us

For a free assessment of your healthcare facilities staffing needs during EMR conversion periods, visit our website at

In addition, you can complete the form on the top right of this page to speak with an EMR conversion expert. 

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