Five EMR Rollout Lessons Gleaned from EMR Adoption Stage 7 Hospitals

Since 2006, HIMSS Analytics has named only 160 hospitals as reaching stage 7 in its EMR adoption model, 30 of which reached paperless status into their 2013, HIMSS reports.  To help other hospitals in their journey, HIMSS has queried some of these hospitals, and come up five methods which help hospitals in their EMR adoption process. They include the following:

1. Use the Big Bang Method

Health IT leaders who have been through the EMR rollout process and reached Stage 7 told HIMSS that “Big Bang” implementation, rather than gradual phase-in, worked well for their institutions and provided better patient experiences.

2. Universal Training

Hospitals at the top of the EMR adoption food chain say that part of how they succeed was to train everyone — the entire care delivery team rather than specific types of providers. It’s also helpful to find a core group of champions within nursing, physicians and leadership to champion the process and support their peers.

3. Respect Your Organization’s Culture

When deploying software of such a cost and complexity, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes your organization unique. Make sure your change leadership process addresses the realities of local environments, and leverages unique strengths of your staff.

4. Involve Your Whole Team

These high-performing adopters stressed that it’s important to involve operational leaders from the outset and to make the EMR a corporate strategic initiative on by clinicians, not an information systems initiative.

5. Use All of Your Resources

No matter how you do it — via peer to peer best practices discussions with other hospitals, partnering with the vendor or other strategies — take advantage of the resources you have to improve, streamline and speed up the EMR installation process.

Of course, no two hospitals are exactly alike, and some of these ideas may not fit with your culture or organizational status. But given the success hospitals have had with these approaches, they’re certainly worth a look

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.