Posted October 31, 2013 by admin in articles

Oct 31:C-suite involvement in the EHR adoption process

A successful EHR implementation requires buy-in from all levels of the healthcare organization. While the clinical environment represents the most crucial component for ensuring that the EHR system is fully adopted and properly used, this could all be jeopardized simply from not having the C-suite sufficiently clued in. That was one of the best practiced shared by speaker Alan Vierling, RN, FABC, MSN, during at Tuesday afternoon session at AHIMA 2013.

The former COO of Genesis Health Care System and current Strategic and Advisory Consultant at Encore Health Resources described how important the presence of the C-suite during an EHR implementation is to the project’s success. “When you’re going live, the executives have to be available all of the time — constantly, all of the time,” he told the audience.
Concomitant with their presence on the floor, these executives need to be mindful of their interactions with stuff, particularly in the area of promising something that cannot be delivered.
“One of the things that we talked about that’s very important is that they’re going to get asked questions about something,” Vierling continued, “and what you don’t want is you don’t want your CEO making a statement — ‘we can get this fixed’ — because they don’t know that. They don’t have that level of detail.”
Instead, best practice calls for these leaders to take another approach:
So what you want is a statement that says, “You know, I’ll look into it and get back with an answer,” then they’re committed to looking into it and turning it over, and they’ve got to get back the answer to the staff. That is very, very powerful when the CEO actually takes a problem, looks into it, and goes back to the staff member and gives an answer. And if they’re making rounds, they’re able to do that.

According to Vierling, rounding isn’t reserved for physicians alone. During the EHR implementation, the rounding of the C-suite plays an important role and shows how important a project and an investment the EHR system truly is.
“Make rounds once every two hours while we’re going live,” he advised. “There won’t be another thing this big. Think about it: A hundred and ten million dollars to put a program in a relatively small hospital or in two hospitals is a lot of money. We could build another building for that — easily build another building for that, right? So this is big deal, so they need to be out there and visible.”
The decision implement an EHR system sets in motion a serious change to any healthcare organization. As such a transformative experience, it requires that all members — from clinical to executive staff — share a similar vision which centers on the importance of this change for their patients, those individuals who will ultimately determine the organization’s success. With this vision in mind, stakeholders within the EHR implementation process can turn their attention to the finer details of the project.
Chief among these stakeholders are those with the word in their names who must support their colleagues through a demanding and high-risk challenge.

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