Which would your hospital team like to hear when implementing new healthcare information technologies?:
“I know how you feel. I have been there before. Let’s get this done together,” or, “I have a pretty good understanding of your challenges, but I am not a clinician so I’ll do my best.”
In healthcare IT implementations, the degree of expertise can have a major impact on the success of your new EHR system once you are independently operating. Regardless of changes in platforms, nurses, physicians, and hospital administrators still have jobs to do. Patients’ well-being is at the top of their mind; they don’t need the added struggle of adapting to a system implemented by someone with a loose understanding of their on-the-job challenges.
Let’s say you just signed a contract to switch over to a new Emergency Department Information System (EDIS). An experienced implementation specialist is on-hand to explain every feature of the digital charting system and how it works.
However, if a nurse asks the implementer, someone who has never changed a dressing, or taken a patient’s vitals, to explain why it works, they’re not sure how to answer. They’re unable to speak to why it was built the way it was and how to solve for certain features that conflict with the nursing team’s preferred workflow.
In this same scenario, a knowledgeable EDIS implementations expert with a background in nursing comes from a place of understanding. They have been in the job before and can tell a nurse, based on their specific duties, why a system works the way it does. When that nurse perceives a gap in functionality, the implementation specialist with applicable healthcare background provides answers based on experience—not a canned response—then goes on to ask how it can be tweaked to fit their needs.
Often in cases where an implementation team doesn’t have a healthcare background, hospitals may find themselves with a new system poorly tuned to their needs – these instances can result in retooling, retesting, and operational setbacks, which can be hard on the hospital, adding more stress to the staff.
There are a few ways an implementations approach managed by specialists with role-based expertise can help reduce the risk of failure and unnecessary clinician stress.
An implementation team is there to help set the customer up for success. Once a system is built and Super Users are trained, they leave you with a solid understanding so that you are confident and in control of the technology. They are essentially masters at a new craft. It is in a healthcare IT solution provider’s best interest to prepare a hospital so there is no need for rework or retraining. MEDHOST makes sure to do the following before letting you “drive off”.
An implementations team with a healthcare background--people who have been nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, HIM directors, Materials Managers, and CFOs are well-equipped to support these basic essential best practices.
MEDHOST uses qualified healthcare specialists to supervise our implementations. The team responsible for implementing our integrated nursing workflow tools is made up of mostly former nurses--80 percent of them are, or were, licensed clinical practitioners. Combined, our implementations team has a healthcare background that exceeds 7 years on average.
There can be a pretty sizable gap between generic software systems technical implementation expertise and a clinical implementations specialist who has worked in a hospital. Choosing between the two is a decision that will impact your hospital and its staff in a big way—during your implementation and well after.