Ready, Set, Go-Live (a.k.a. All the buzz around an EMR activation “beehive”!)

A few weeks ago in my last post Location, Location, Location – A Traveling Healthcare IT Consultant’s Life from a Road’s View – I shared with my readers some of the tasks I had been completing for my current Electronic Medical Records (EMR) contract assignment. This work was in preparation of this heath-care facility’s scheduled EMR Implementation “Go-Live” (this is the scheduled period of time a clinical system is activated and made available for it’s actual usage by all individuals involved in the patients’ care at a health-care facility or facilities) –  for this facility that time is NOW!

Today, I  will share with you some of the happenings we (the EMR Implementation project team), have experienced  throughout this past several weeks.  Thus my blog title is the  best way I’m choosing to help you relate to this very, very important happening. My goal is to describe to those who have not experienced anything like this – it’s like we are these industrious bees all buzzing around an ‘EMR or EHR’ beehive for the production of sweet honey!

Following is a summary of few pre-go-live tasks and activities:

  • Buzzzz…At the main EMR Project build headquarters, many of the EMR Project analyst team staff  are completing their final, final (yes, I’m aware I repeated this word) – clinical system application segment records development of “building, testing and validating.”
  • Buzzzz…Many of the EMR Project training team staff have been deployed to the various hospital service units for one-to-one pre-go-live training sessions with some of the clinical system users (nurses, doctors, managers, unit clerks, etc. (all of the standard classroom training has previously been provided several weeks ago)
  • Buzzzz…On-site Hospital orientation day is conducted for the entire EMR Project team staff at the EMR “command center.”  This orientation is handled by the hospital public relations manager to ensure the EMR Project staff is aware of the internal hospital environment, policy and most importantly this hospital’s patient care delivery culture.  Also during this orientation session – go-live binders are  distributed to each person in attendance who will be a part of this go-live and consist of all types of information such as; department contact names, phone numbers, email addresses, website URLs, and hyperlink locations for all types of reference guides and ‘tip sheets.”
  • Buzzzz…The command center is a centralized location in the hospital or clinic that is preparing for go- live – it’s like some sort of a great temporary massive office set-up of many 4’ X 8’ tables grouped together by the  EMR  application staff team (each clinical application segment is grouped together). These groupings of tables are equipped with telephone banks, electrical power strips, and Ethernet cables (available as a back-up to the health-care facilities wireless capability).

In one of my blogs entitled –“EMR/HER Implementation…It takes and Healthcare IT Village!” –  I detailed my experience about what it takes getting to the health-care facility’s ultimate goal of getting their EMR go-live.

Seriously folks – most Go-Lives average in length for about a 3-4 week period of this on-site command center. In conjunction with the hospital unit or clinic floor coverage, consisting of one-to-one or “elbow to elbow” health-care provider support. Directors and managers have prepared very detailed command center and floor coverage “game plan” schedules for 24 x 7 coverage (day and night time shifts…remember, hospitals never close) throughout this Go-Live period.  Most command center staff will experience 12-hour shifts – 3 to 4 days on, then a few days off, repeated for throughout the go-live period.  Each shift time change consists of information exchanges and/or tasks “hand-off” between the day and night shift staff.

Daily management and staff personal debriefing meetings allow thorough communications for all parties involved in this EMR activation “beehive” – every staff type is buzzing about; from the worker bees all the way to the Queen bee herself. This entire group of  command center folks (who by the way, are the majority of the same staff from the EMR Implementation team – pre go-live, go-live and additional teams of personal from the EMR vendor. WOW – witnessing and being part of this “organized chaos”  is amazing, and these are  some of the smartest, diligent, dedicated and hard-working people I have encountered throughout my career!

EMR Implementation and then this activation process is both very challenging (…stay tuned for my Post Go-live update blog in a few weeks. I’ll fill you in on what we call in the EMR industry call post go-live “optimization” – that’s if  I don’t loose my “stinger”  –ha, ha!)

About the author


Shirley Corsey

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 9 years in the EMR job market.