EIGHT STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL EMR IMPLEMENTATION BY PAM TAYLOR, SENIOR MANAGER, BEACON PARTNERS, INC.

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1 EIGHT STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL EMR IMPLEMENTATION BY PAM TAYLOR, SENIOR MANAGER, BEACON PARTNERS, INC.

2 EIGHT STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL EMR IMPLEMENTATION Your road to a successful EMR implementation requires careful planning and execution of many events over many months (or years). One of the most important set of events early on, is the development of eight key strategies. They include: Software Rollout Site Rollout Communication Hardware Change Leadership/Go-Live Readiness Scanning and Data Pre-Population Training Support For your EMR drive, consider this illustration. Your goals/objectives are the hub, your strategies are the spokes that provide the stability, and your plans/ programs are the tires that smooth the ride. While the road at times can be bumpy, with well-defined strategies supporting your goals and driving your plans, you ll have sound wheels that will ease your journey and increase your chances of successfully arriving at your destination. PROGRAM & PLANS Let s examine each one of these eight strategies in detail.

3 Software Rollout Your software rollout strategy defines what modules will be rolled out to whom and when. It is typically not a good idea to implement all EMR modules at a site at the same time or to implement a new practice management system and an EMR simultaneously. The newness of the software and workflows can be overwhelming and reduce clinical usage of the system. In addition, disruption to the site s clinical and financial operations can be extensive and the support burden on your EMR team can be heavy. If possible, it s better to implement one or more modules in phases. Users can easily and quickly master a small set of new workflows, then move on to others. One EMR team member may be able to handle all the training and go-live support for a module. The result, higher user confidence, greater acceptance, and a pull for more functionality. Site Rollout Your site rollout strategy specifies what departments/clinics will be rolled out in what order and when. The deliverable is your go-live schedule. Criteria used to determine the rollout sequence can include location, specialty, number of providers, interest levels, where the site wants to be in the schedule, provider PC proficiency levels, network speed, whether the site is new, and if the site plans to move. Communication This strategy addresses who, what, how and when information is communicated to all your stakeholders executive sponsors, steering committee, EMR team, site managers, providers, clinicians, staff, pharmacies and patients. Communication can include meetings, s, a web site, brochures, posters, and mailings. It is crucial for the EMR team to have frequent face-to-face meetings with representatives from the departments/clinics throughout the project. These are useful forums for decision-making, development of standards, addressing needs, and sharing lessons learned from go-lives. Hardware Most EMR projects offer a combination of desktop, laptop and tablet PCs (for exam rooms, provider pods/offices, hallways, nurses stations, labs and medical records rooms) and handheld devices (for providers). Your considerations should include the compatibility of this hardware with your vendor software, availability and lead times. Change Leadership/Go-Live Readiness Your journey from the land of paper charts and workflows to the electronic world is full of challenges and the biggest one is resistance to change. You can take one of two roads. The first one is where you have little site planning, preparation and communication, yet move right into a big go-live. It s full of obstacles and has anxiety and uncertainty around every bend. The other is a highway - easier, faster, and with nice rest stops along the way. The rest stops are your change leadership and go-live readiness efforts - meetings and other activities that gradually prepare sites for the new hardware, software and workflows. These can include kick-off meetings, software demos, hardware evaluations, visits to installed sites and discussions about current and future workflows. Scanning and Data Pre-Population One of your goals may be to go paperless from go-live day forward. If so, you ll want to scan paper charts and pre-populate your EMR with patient

4 allergies, historic medications, and problems. Among other things, your scanning strategy needs to consider who will do the scanning (scan teams, medical records staff or both), scanning hardware, when scanning should begin, what charts should be scanned, how much of the chart should be scanned and where charts should be scanned in the EMR. Training Your training strategy should include delivery of high quality, customized, instructor-led, hands-on, just-in-time and just-enough education. As the final push toward a successful go-live, training will help boost confidence and increase clinical acceptance of your EMR. Support By whom, how and when your users will be supported is defined in your support strategy. One consideration involves using central help desk or your EMR team. Experience with central IT help desks supporting EMR users suggests that these folks can reset passwords and assist with hardware issues, but are not able to answer functionality or workflow-related questions. It s generally better to have the EMR team provide the 24X7 support. Ways for users to contact the team can include a hotline number, pagers, and EMR tasking. You can t really say that if your strategies are well thought out, the rest is easy. But, you can say that if your strategies are sound, your organization s EMR ride will be smoother, major detours can be avoided, obstacles can be more easily overcome, and you ll more quickly benefit from increased efficiencies and the delivery of better healthcare. Pam Taylor is a Senior Manager with Beacon Partners, Inc and has been the Engagement Manager/Project Manager on several hospital and clinic EMR implementations. She can be reached at

5 BEACON PARTNER S SERVICES INCLUDE: ABOUT BEACON PARTNERS APPLICATION EXPERTISE eclinicalworks Epic GE Healthcare MEDITECH Cerner McKesson Siemens NextGen Allscripts Drawing upon two decades of experience, Beacon Partners is an established leader in the North American IT, clinical, strategic, and operations consulting for the healthcare industry. Focused on the client experience and backed by decades of healthcare industry knowledge, Beacon Partners is the only firm in the industry that provides a satisfaction guarantee for all its services. Beacon Partners commitment is to maximize their client s Enterprise Yield, which is the alignment of that healthcare facility s people, processes and technology for optimal performance. BUSINESS AND CLINICAL OPERATIONS Business & Clinical Operations Support Clinical & Practice Management Workflow Analysis Interim Management Revenue Cycle Management Change Management STRATEGIC ADVISORY SERVICES Strategic Planning Outsourcing Advisory Services Market Advisory Services HIPAA Compliance INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Hospital HIS Practice Management Systems EMR Ancillary Systems PACS System Upgrades and Optimization Analysis I.T. Strategic Planning Enterprise Application Integration Search & Selections 97 Libbey Parkway, Suite 310 Weymouth, MA t f BEACON BOSTON SAN FRANCISCO TORONTO

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