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Implementing EMR: Success or Expensive Disruption?

A new EMR; exciting, scary, or both?

Implementing EMR – focus group feedback

Implementation of any technology must first start with awareness of what you are trying to accomplish. In a recent focus group, conducted by Orchestrate Healthcare, CIO’s were asked:

  1. if they installed EMR, and
  2. implemented meaningful use in order to save money and improve quality

Their answers were “YES”, but they also added that they hadn’t actually accomplished those objectives effectively. The real questions turned out to be:

  1. whether or not the technology was capable of accomplishing the objective, or not, and
  2. was implementation a factor in not achieving them.

Implementing EMR benefits healthcareAll of the CIO’s believed the technology was capable but many expressed their concerns about expectations and implementation. In our most successful EMR implementations there is always a common theme that the hospitals, physicians, and users view EMR as a tool that adds technical capabilities and flexibility to help them create a better healthcare business, not just new technology. With the organized data that results from implementing EMRs and successfully using the data, healthcare systems can eliminate inefficiencies and be more competitive.

EMR implementation critical for success

The implementation of EMR is critical to the outcomes, timelines, and user acceptance of the new tools. Experience in implementing new EMR systems is very important to achieving the success your organization envisioned when you bought the EMR for in the first place. However, implementing EMRs can be an area of major problems or accomplishments depending on how you approach it.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. –  Vernon Law

Any effective implementation of any technology involves:

  • people
  • process development and change, and
  • the technology itself.

Assuming you bought good technology, you then need to make sure you have the people with experience to create the processes and do the implementation of that technology properly. These same experts on technology who are implementing EMR are also needed to insure after-implementation success. In a HIMSS publication Change Management Strategies for an Effective EMR Implementation Dale Sanders, former CIO at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation said, “you need to dedicate the time and resources to constantly iterate, refine, and improve the utilization of the EMR over time, far beyond its installation and go-live. It’s a race without a finish line.”

Experts at EMR implementation

Given what is at stake and the incredible disruptive affects of installing an EMR, or replacing one with new technology, having the very best people to assist in the process is very important. At Orchestrate Healthcare we hire our people with the best experience the industry has to offer. We train them, maintain them, and put them into customer situations where they are leaders due to their experience and capabilities. Our customers rate us #1 in KLAS for integration and we are a top 5 KLAS rated company for EMR Implementation. This client satisfaction isn’t a surprise, it’s by design. We want our customers to use us to do the implementation and then allow us to help them insure that they are getting the results they need over time after the go-live.

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