Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some Wise Words from a Departing Editor – How to Align Ducks in E-Health!

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!

One Record, Many Lessons

Gary Baldwin, for HealthLeaders Magazine, July 10, 2008

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!

The Lowdown

Organization: Allina Hospital and Clinics

Location: Minneapolis

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.

Thanks Gary!


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