This excellent brief article appeared last week
October 25, 2010 | Jamie Thompson, Web Editor
Peggy E. Delany, MBA, CHBC, CEO, DR Management, LLC, Member of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants (NSCHBC), and Thomas S. Nelson, CIO, COO, DR Management, LLC, shared the following six best practices for hospitals and medical groups when implementing electronic health records.
1. Tailor your EHR to fit within staff workflows
"You cannot implement the system to meet 100% of each individual’s needs, but neither can you implement in a generic manner and assume that everyone will adjust," Delany and Nelson emphasized. But it is important to determine which aspects can be adapted to work on an individual basis, and which aspects can work across a wider spectrum. Securing the opinions and recommendations of the staff - as well as their cooperation and commitment - are crucial to making sure the EHR will work for everyone.
2. Identify ways the EHR could potentially fail in order to prevent problems in the future
Gather input from stakeholders to pinpoint ways the EHR could fail, and use that knowledge to determine what it will take for the EHR to be successful. "Remember that you are dealing with huge amounts of data. Be sure to allow for enough storage and fast enough computers to quickly access the data," said Delany and Nelson.
3. Don’t rush implementation, take time to train
"Train for every step of the process and do several short training sessions," advised Delany and Nelson. They also stressed that beginning with the basics is important, and to follow a planned-out procedure so as to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of implementation.
The other three best practices are here:
This sentence especially struck a chord with me:
‘"You cannot implement the system to meet 100% of each individual’s needs, but neither can you implement in a generic manner and assume that everyone will adjust," Delany and Nelson emphasized.’
What logically flows if this is true - and I believe it is - is that there must be discussion and negotiation with those on the ground in each site and workplace as to what will work for them and what won’t. This is just the total opposite to the centrally imposed one size fits all approach that has been adopted - with considerable pain and anguish - in some State jurisdictions.
To not proceed in this sensible fashion is something as complex as e-Health implementation is really a very bad idea I believe.
Indeed I would suggest that there really needs to be much more focus in general in making solutions work for the Health Sector broadly - rather than what we frequently seem to see coming from policy makers and bureaucrats - where somehow the impacts of their grand designs don’t quite seem to work out when implementation is attempted.
Six points worth sticking on the war room wall!