Timeframes to Implement an EMR and the EMR Regional Extension Centers

I quoted this CIO in my previous post about EMR Motivations, but I also thought that Neal Ganguly provided some interesting analysis of the time frames involved with selecting, implementing and using an EMR. Plus, he takes it one step further and adds in the time frames to get the EMR regional extension centers in place as well. Check out the EMR timelines:

Hospitals / Physicians: It can take 3-6 months to evaluate and select a system and then it takes 18-24 months to install a hospital clinical system. It takes 2-5 months to properly install a physician EMR. It can take 6-12 months or more to work out the kinks and become productive on such systems.

The talent pool to accomplish this work is spread thin. Hence the extension center concept. However, it can take 3-6 months to establish centers operationally (find space, recruit staff, establish curriculums, etc), and then 3-6 months to recruit and train people to a reasonable standard to make them minimally effective. So optimistically, it would be 6-12 months from inception before the first trained individuals emerge from those centers – and really, 12-24 months before they have some of the real life experience needed to be effective.

It really struck me when Neal compared the time to get a regional extension center going and their inability to really support those interested in ARRA stimulus money.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I believe the time frames referenced above for planning are dead on. Let’s turn the “can” to should.

    The REC centers will prove to be $598 million mis-spent dollars. Why not spend that money on setting standards by end of Q1 2010?

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