Thursday, July 17, 2014

Here Is A Key Lesson That When Ignored Usually Results In Disaster. We Have Seen It All Before!

This appeared a little while ago:

IT blamed in Athens EHR debacle

Posted on Jun 17, 2014
By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
Who's to blame when EHR implementations go south? There's often enough fault to go around. But when the fallout is bad enough, sometimes self-interested parties are all too ready to point fingers.
In late May, we covered the story of a $31 million Cerner rollout at Athens Regional Health System in Georgia that didn't go as planned.
Thanks to what was described by clinicians as a rushed process, doctors nurses and staff were up in arms about a series of medication mistakes, scheduling snafus and other communication glitches.
"The last three weeks have been very challenging for our physicians, nurses and staff," wrote Athens Regional Foundation Vice President Tammy Gilland, Athens Regional Foundation vice president, in a letter to donors explaining the situation. "Parts of the system are working well while others are not."
The complaints lodged by clinicians were soon followed by the resignation of President and CEO James Thaw and, less than a week later, Senior Vice President and CIO Gretchen Tegethoff.
This past weekend, on June 15, the Athens Banner Herald reported that Athens Regional's chief medical officer – as well as executives from Cerner – were pointing fingers at the health system's IT team, complaining that they made strategic decisions that should have been the bailiwick of clinicians.
"Could there have been more information shared at the administrative level? I suppose you could make that argument," Senior Vice President and CMO James L. Moore told the paper. "The implementation was through the CIO, and so that's where the information was held."
The Banner Herald's Kelsey Cochran also quotes a Cerner vice president, Michael Robin, who noted that while some end-users were involved in the rollout, it seemed primarily to be led by Athens Regional's IT team, which he said was "atypical" of Cerner sites.
The rest of the gruesome story is here:
As always, if you have technologists in charge of a Health IT you dramatically increase the risk of project failure.
Look at how well NEHTA and the PCEHR have gone! Enough said!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Athens Regional EHR implementation debacle was primarily the fault of IT leadership...not the IT department itself. Long time IT employees at ARMC could see that the project was headed for disaster, but unfortunately those employees were either ignored or eliminated by the CIO and many of the IT management that she hired. The previous CIO of Athens Regional Medical Center and the many employees that he hired, mentored, or led while working there never would have agreed to such a tight deadline, and would have been proactive in soliciting input from clinicians as well as any other parties with a stake in the outcome of the project. I know this because I used to work there, and was part of many such implementations. Patient care should always come first when choosing and implementing a new IT system. Unfortunately, that culture of patient care was degraded during Tegethoff's tenure. I just hope the hospital, which has been overall a force for good in the community, is able to recover from the damage done to it's culture as well as it's reputation.