Stakeholder inclusion is key

7 tips for EMR success from Stage 7 hospitals

By Amanda Burkey
11:14 AM

Since 2006, HIMSS Analytics has identified a total of 200 hospitals as Stage 7 facilities on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. As challenging as this goal is, new Stage 7 facilities are added each year.

[See also: Stage 7 awards are on the upswing]

Thirty more hospitals and 1,021 ambulatory facilities reached paperless status in 2014, and will be congratulated next month at HIMSS15. Each of these provider organizations has overcome challenges inherent in achieving a paperless environment. Take advantage of their experiences and keep these seven lessons in mind during your Stage 7 journey.

1. Include all the key stakeholders.

"Balance the need for speed with the need for inclusiveness. Finding the right balance requires an understanding of the culture of your organization and the ability to think like your stakeholders. On one hand if you include everyone you don’t move fast enough and you lose trust; on the other hand if you don’t include the right people you have a hard time with adoption. Respect for people and organizational mission is usually the common ground."
Bon Secours Health System

"Leadership alignment and governance, including executive and physician leadership, are critical for success. The project was never viewed as an IT project and became a transformation lever of system integration as Novant Health built one electronic health record for the organization."
Novant Health

2. Focus on productivity.

"BSWH chose to invest in an optimization up front, and that program –Evolve – has proven to be a huge success in driving provider satisfaction, productivity, and adoption. Evolve began with Epic’s provider readiness tools, and has developed into the clinical optimization program for the Epic implementation focused on combining objective data with observer assessments to identify problem areas and deploy support."
Baylor Scott & White Health

3. Use the big bang method.

"'Big bang' inpatient implementation for provider order entry and online clinical documentation (physicians and nursing/patient cares services) provided a more seamless experience for the patient."
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics

"One of the first difficult decisions we needed to make was whether to go live incrementally or go live with the big bang method. Initially, the magnitude of the Big Bang go live was daunting; the scope was almost incomprehensible. However, in analyzing our organization’s structure and needs, it became clear that the Big Bang go live was the better option, and in hindsight, it proved to be a very good approach."
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

4. Train Everyone

"Implementation teams need to be multi-disciplinary. Dedicated time commitment of staff from nursing, ancillary departments, patient access, billing, etc., is critical to the success of the project."
WVU Healthcare

"Identify a core group of nurse, physician, and leadership champions. Train them all to use the system as early as possible so they can support their peers."

5. Stay True to Your Organization

"When deploying vendor software, achieving goals set by federal agencies for EHR meaningful use, or performing benchmarking with other organizations, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that make your organization unique and special. Change leadership must address people’s concerns and the realities of local environments. Find the strengths and leaders inside your organization and leverage them to achieve change and create improvements."
University of California Davis Health System

6. Make it a Team Project

"Involve operational leaders at the outset and make clinical systems implementation an enterprise project rather than an information systems initiative.”"
UC San Diego

"Understand the EHR as a corporate strategic initiative, owned by clinicians, not IT."
Texas Health Resources

7. Use Your Resources

"Develop a multidisciplinary task group to study peer-to-peer best practices. The Stanford team traveled to similar healthcare organizations to gain best practices and vendor suggestions."
Stanford Hospital & Clinics

"We aligned with Cerner through ITworks, a strategic partnership that allows both organizations to move faster and realize more benefits than would have otherwise been possible. The partnership enables us to focus on our vision for improved health, while Cerner manages the software and hardware."
Fort HealthCare

Find additional tips and case studies on Stage 7 Hospitals’ road to EMR success. Tweet @HIMSSAnalytics to share your #EMRAM (that’s Twitter speak for EMR Adoption Model) journey and lessons learned along the way.