One of the first questions to ask, “Is there a steering committee in place?” Followed by, “Who will be the physician champion?”
Renton, WA (PRWEB) June 26, 2014
In late May, the story broke of a $31 million Electronic Health Record (EHR) rollout at Athens Regional Health System in Georgia that didn't go as planned. After the problems with the rollout came to light, the CEO and the CIO resigned, although the health system has not officially linked the project failure to these resignations.
According to an article in HealthcareIT News*, the problem stemmed from a serious lack of communication between the technical team and the clinical stakeholders. Once the EHR went live, clinical staff raised strong concern about lack of training and rushed deadlines which resulted in medication errors and scheduling issues, among many other problems.**
Versio by ScribeRight (Versio) is able to offer some perspective on what went wrong with the rollout as the company is in the data migration business. Their clients include Providence Health & Services and UW Medicine.
The most important part of planning for a new EHR is to involve stakeholders early on. Some of the usual expectations from key stakeholders are:
- Clinicians expect that patient records will be correct and current for diagnosis, appropriateness of treatment, and a positive health outcome.
- The Patient Safety Officer expects all critical data sets to be accurate and complete.
- The HIM Director expects records to be properly handled and appropriately validated with a minimal impact on in-house resources.
- The Compliance Officer expects to meet Meaningful Use requirements.
- The Executive Team expects that the EHR implementation will meet go-live dates, will cause minimal disruption, will stay within the projected budget, will meet the needs of clinicians, and enhance the institution’s reputation for quality healthcare.
- The Patient expects current, complete, and accurate information in his or her health record when accessing it via a patient portal.
According to Versio's CEO, Lisa Pike, one of the first questions to ask during the early planning for new EHR implementation is, “Is there a steering committee in place?” Followed by, “Who will be the physician champion?” If there is not an answer or the answer is unknown, that should send up red flags to the project management team. Lack of communication and the resulting failure to address stakeholder needs creates negative feelings throughout the organization and much angst in the executive suite.
When the stakeholders’ needs are addressed, the result is a smoother EHR implementation with minimized impact on facility resources and greater end-user satisfaction. A seamless transition bolsters healthcare consumer confidence in their community institution and its ability to deliver quality care.
What are the lessons learned from the Athens story? Involve all stakeholders very early in the planning process. Make expectation management a priority. Spend whatever time and money is necessary on clinician training. And finally, set egos aside and focus on the most important part of any EHR rollout: the patient.
About Versio: The Renton firm has been at the forefront of quality healthcare documentation since it was established as ScribeRight Transcription Agency in 2000, and it continues to meet the dynamic needs of the industry today. The company has adopted the new name Versio to reflect the company’s expanded service offerings. Medical data are full of inconsistencies that make it nearly impossible for conventional technology to convert it accurately. The Versio program utilizes a suite of proprietary technologies and processes, combined with detailed human review in the form of knowledgeable and experienced medical data translation specialists. This hybrid approach forms an extra layer of quality control, providing clients with results that are unmatched in the industry.
For more information regarding Versio, visit their website: http://www.MyVersio.com.
*Miliard, Mike. "IT blamed in Athens EHR debacle." Healthcare IT News, 17 June 2014. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/athens-ehr-debacle-all-its-fault?topic=08,19,30
** Cochran, Kelsey. "Lack of input, training created problems with Athens Regional electronic records system." Online Athens. Athens Banner Herald, 15 June 2014. http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2014-06-14/lack-input-training-created-problems-athens-regional-electronic-records-system