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Why Healthcare Expertise Can Make or Break Your EHR Implementation

Why Healthcare Expertise Can Make or Break Your EHR Implementation ehr

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.

General Implementations Experience vs. Healthcare Knowledge

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.

The Benefits of a Healthcare Background

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.

3 Ways Implementation Expertise Reduces Risk and Stress

  1. Understanding hospitals’ unique goals – MEDHOST’s VP of Implementations, Doug Allen notes that most hospitals have a handful of core goals when it comes to adopting a new EHR or EDIS system. Even though most goals are universal, Allen inferred that few implementation projects are exactly alike. A knowledgeable implementations team will know what questions to ask and what to look for—a heightened awareness of the more granular aspects of a hospital’s business and clinical workflow.
  2. Familiarity with hospitals’ many working parts – Implementing new technology into a hospital occurs in more places than just the executive board room. A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that the participation of end-users was of vital importance. This article from Clinician Today echoed their findings stating clinician buy-in was key to successful implementations. An implementations team full of experience at every level of healthcare can help give these critical hospital representatives a trusted voice.
  3. Role-based training by experts – Training on preloaded scripts is standard. Above standard is a healthcare expert who can provide hands-on training on not only scripts but in real-time with real hospital workflows. Someone who has done the job of a CNO (Chief Nursing Officer) or admissions manager will have an easier time spotting gaps in processes or identifying areas that may need tweaking to get the most benefits.

The MEDHOST Implementation Difference

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”.

  • Listens to what the hospital needs
  • Balances current workflows with new system functionalities and capabilities
  • Designs a low-impact implementation process
  • Runs through multiple rounds of training and testing

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.

See how MEDHOST experts are helping hospitals today!

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