6 Key Lessons for a Successful EHR Implementation

April 18, 2016

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This article is part 5 of a 7-part series derived from ‘7 Habits for Technology Driven Healthcare Organizations’ – a presentation led by Ravi Ganesan, President of Core Solutions, at the 2015 Open Minds Technology & Informatics Institute.

We spend years learning how to read, write and speak – but what about listening? The reality of this question is relevant to many large health and human services organizations that are reliant on teamwork and strong listening skills to make decisions – especially when it comes to EHR implementation. Instead of listening to others however, most people are framing their response by evaluating, probing, advising and interpreting the speaker.

This common example demonstrates how communication breakdowns can lead to unsuccessful EHR implementations: an organization will spend 16 months deciding on the need for a new EHR, followed by another 12 months selecting the right vendor, and lastly asking the vendor to recreate their current system.  Sound familiar?

As a result, it’s vital that organizations invest time in conversations with their EHR vendor to absorb information that is critical to a successful EHR implementation, including:

  1. Leadership Support
    An EHR implementation process cannot be successful without leadership commitment. It is inevitable that challenges will arise during the process and to remain on time and on-budget, it’s especially important that dedicated leaders are available to lend support.

  2. Right Implementation Approach
    One-size-fits-all does not apply to EHR implementation. Every organization is unique and needs to collaborate with their EHR vendor to craft a solution that works for their organization. This includes pilot-projects and custom plans for taking the system live.

  3. Strong Training
    Training your staff to properly utilize the EHR is critical and takes time. It’s important to utilize training best practices offered by your EHR vendor to streamline processes and ensure that everyone realizes the full potential of the system.

  4. Support for Go-Live
    Most organizations celebrate when their EHR goes live, but often forget that there is a lot of support needed at this time for executives, managers, frontline clinicians and patients. Additionally, there is a 60-to-90 day adoption curve that requires consistent support.

  5. Flexibility
    For a project-plan to maintain its schedule from day one to completion is nearly impossible. People have questions, concerns and other priorities that cause setbacks and as a result, staying flexible during the process with built-in contingency time is key.

  6. Ongoing Optimization
    Once the adoption-curve has passed, it’s important to continuously leverage your EHR vendor to optimize your system to stay competitive.

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For more information, watch the full video here.