Due to the great deal of change that an EMR Go-Live can bring, many organizations view them as a very intimidating and draining experience. However, this does not need to be the case, as knowing how to manage your budget, utilize a command structure, and apply a good support team can help your organization provide better care and save money.
With five years under his belt as the Director of Go-Live Services for the HCI Group, Will Adkins knows what an organization should do in order to make the most out of their Go-Live. In this post, he shares three areas an organization should focus on during an EMR Go-Live project.
1) Having the Right Budget
When you think of the full life-cycle of a Go-Live, one of the first areas that you will want to make sure you have figured out is your budget. Planning your budget should begin at least a year out, as this will allow for you to make sure that the budget you set forth is the appropriate one. When you are planning for your budget, your new vendor will tell you how much money they think you should put aside. The question you need to be asking yourself immediately is simple – is that really going to be enough? It is important to get multiple assessments done, both internally and externally, so you can be sure that the budget you create for your Go-Live will be sufficient. If you don’t plan accordingly, and have an assessment that can be checked off by both your EMR vendor and an independent source, you can severely delay your adoption process. A 3-4 week adoption process that has to be stretched into a 5-6 month adoption process will result in wasted money on hours over time, lost revenue, and lowered customer satisfaction indicators.
2) Having a Strong Central Command Structure
During your Go-Live, it will be imperative to have various different groups within your organization come together and work in-sync with each other. It is important to have a strong command structure, one that can give these different groups a road map of how they are going to be able to work together, and how they can put their differing priorities together in order to make one cohesive unit. You will see organizations all the time where there is no accountability, and no central command structure, and it doesn’t work. Having a good plan, and having a good leadership structure, will allow everyone to be able to account for what they are responsible for.
3) Having a Strong EMR Support Team for End Users
A third area that an organization needs to look at during an EMR Go-Live is setting a real, firm expectation for success during your project, and being able to follow through with it. One of the ways you can go about doing this is by coming in strong and making your presence felt. When we bring in 150 people to a hospital, it is obviously going to make a lot of noise. This noise can actually be considered a positive, because it helps show the nurses and physicians that there are 150 people here to help them learn and use the new system. It is common for these nurses and physicians to feel comforted due to the fact that they can stop and think to themselves “I’m going to be okay. They are going to teach me how to reuse the system.”
In addition, positive outreach is not only something that can be effective, but it is almost necessary. With the amount of changes these people are going through, they will need all of the positive reinforcement that they can get. This helps alleviate some pressure, and knowing that help is there will benefit the hospital and patients in the long-term in several different ways. Having that as a strong message, and following that up with strong actions to back it up, will prove to make a huge difference.
While an EMR Go-Live may seem like an intimidating process for your organization to be going through, knowing some common practices that can help guide you through it will be of paramount importance in alleviating some of these pressures. Though they are only a small sample of what your organization can do, the ability to maintain the right budget, employ a strong central command center, and put together a strong support team can help to ultimately result in better patient care during your EMR Go-Live.
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