Hey HIT folks…Halloween is coming soon and it reminds me of how it gets a little spooky sometimes implementing an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. The 1984 movie
The Ghost Busters is a good way for me to relate this movie’s theme with the point I’m trying to make with today’s blog. I must admit…the most I remembered about this movie was singer Ray Parker, Jr’s movie title song “Who ya gonna call? Ghost Busters!” and the sexy sound of his voice. For me, that brother was so fine back in the day! OK, so I digress, now let me get back to the basic premise of The Ghost Busters based on what I found about it via Google; Movie Story line – Three odd-ball scientists get kicked out of their cushy positions at a university in New York City where they studied the occult. They decide to set up shop in an old firehouse and become Ghostbusters, trapping pesky ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists for money. They wise-crack their way through the city, and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, one which will release untold evil upon the city. The Ghost Busters are called on to save the Big Apple…da, dada, dada ”Who ya gonna call? Ghost Busters!”
So what does EMR Implementation have to do with Ghost Busters? The EMR Implementation cycle includes several phases; project start-up and governance establishment, EMR / EHR software vendor selection, project team establishment, workflow analysis, system design, build, validate, system user’s acceptance, training, and go-live. This implementation cycle can take anywhere from 3-to-6 months for Ambulatory EMRs (clinics) and anywhere from 6 months to 18 months for hospital EMRs. As a certified Epic® Systems EMR Consultant and “Road Warrior” who has really learned my own professional worth these past 6 years, I have been involved with every phase of EMR Implementation for clinics and hospitals during my travels nationwide. During the first few phases of the EMR Implementation, I have witnessed the working environment as a little hectic, but very exciting. Many times during the middle phases of the EMR Implementation and definitely at go-live, Consulting Agencies (a.k.a. “The Ghost Busters” of Healthcare IT) are called in at the “point of no return.” Why, you may be wondering? (…answers to this question brings another movie theme to my mind for discussion in my next blog. I’m thinking it may be titled “The Healthcare IT Implementation ‘Titanic’ and How to Avoid that Voyage”…stay tuned!)
Let me set the scene of what an EMR Implementation Movie Story Line could entail – Three professional groups (Clinicians, Healthcare Information Technology Professionals, Recruiters) come together and set-up shop and become Consulting Agencies (a.k.a. Ghostbusters of Healthcare IT), solving pesky EMR system bugs, filling hospital and clinic staff shortages with certified EMR professionals for money. They infiltrate their way through EMR Implementations for hospitals and clinics throughout the nation, many times they stumble upon a gateway to another [EMR] dimension (usually around the mid-point of the implementation cycle and/or the first week of go-live), one which will release untold mis-communication, IT rebellion threats, and panic throughout the clinical community. No worries, ” The Ghost Busters of Healthcare IT” are called on to save the project…da, dada, dada ”Who ya gonna call? Ghost Busters! [of Healthcare IT]…” Hey Ray we may need you to update those lyrics a little!
Shirley Corsey is a certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant/Road Warrior, and owner of her own online training center for the Healthcare Information Technology industry. She is a seasoned Healthcare IT professional with over 25 years experience, with a recent career focus for the past 6 years in the EMR job market.