Gary Baldwin has finished up his stint as technical editor for Health Leaders. He did a pretty good job and the last article he produced, on implementing a health system wide EHR was a ripper!
Allina Hospital made significant gains with its systemwide enterprise EMR. But the project cost more than just money.
Five years ago, Allina Hospital & Clinics declared an ambitious goal: Convert the entire 11-hospital system to a common electronic patient record system. Some $250 million later, Minneapolis-based Allina has achieved its vision of "one patient, one record." Allina's so-called "Excellian Project" is winding down to a handful of small community hospitals, and its 11 main hospitals and 70 clinics now share a common patient database that drive a core set of applications, including order entry, results reporting, pharmacy management, and picture archiving on the clinical side, and registration, scheduling, and billing on the administrative side.
The project was a massive undertaking that at its peak required full-time participation by 300 employees. Nevertheless, Allina is far from finished, having just begun to realize the efficiency of electronic data interchange (see sidebar, "What's Next"). Its accomplishments thus far, however, represent a textbook example of the big-ticket organizational makeover. During its hospital-by-hospital deployment, Allina learned plenty of lessons. They often came the hard way as the project upended the health system's traditions and conventions—sometimes with hard feelings.
Much more here:
The five main lessons he provided were:
Lesson 1: Implement enterprise governance—quickly
Lesson 2: Pay for physician leadership
Lesson 3: Avoid design by committee
Lesson 4: Set realistic expectations
Lesson 5: Prepare for ruffled feathers
These seem to me to be lessons all bureaucrats and implementers in Hospital projects in Australia should take very much to heart
The scale of the organisation make for quite sobering reading!
Organization: Allina Hospital and Clinics
Description: 11-hospital health system with 70 clinics
2008 "Excellian Project" (EMR) operating budget: $17.4 million
2008 Excellian staff: 173
Excellian budget 2004-2007: $250 million, 300 staff
Honors: Winner, 2007 HIMSS Davies Organizational Award
Web site: www.allina.com
Key vendor partners: Epic, OnBase (document scanning), GE (lab system), and Emageon (picture archiving)
The whole article is well worth a careful read and printing out to keep.