Today I was talking with an enterprise software veteran who’d worked with ERP vendors for quite some time during his career. (In other words, he knows how big, expensive, kludgy but mission-critical installations work.)
My colleague, who’s developing an EMR training program, had this to say, and I think it’s worth thinking about: “You know, the only EMR installations which are really successful are done by people who have handled a previous EMR install which was a disaster.”
Hmmm. I would have thought that the biggest predictor of success would have to be whether someone had successfully completed an EMR installation before. After all, wouldn’t that give them the extra “oomph” and knowledge of project pitfalls that they need?
Perhaps not, if my colleague is right.
Nothing exposes the fault lines where a project can fall apart like a flaming failure. Until you’ve seen doctors reject your installation completely, had massive problems integrating a system or had consultants completely fumble the ball, you may miss it when such things are about to happen.
Besides, once you’ve navigated a failure, it’s less likely that you’ll be paralyzed when a project begins to slide. It’s just human nature. Having had the miserable, but edifying, experience of having a project die in front of you, it will never sting again quite as much. (Especially because you’ll have learned that if the EMR rollout dies, it may very well not have been your fault.)
To be honest, I’m not sure if HIT leaders should specifically hire for those whose previous EMR project failed. On the other hand, having reflected on my seasoned colleague’s words, I don’t think hiring managers should reject such candidates either.