As the era of HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) and healthcare reform continues, the IT component is crucially important for healthcare organizations that want to survive and thrive. An integral part of HITECH is the installation of Electronic Health Record Systems (EHRs), but only organizations that can demonstrate meaningful use of these systems will receive government incentives.
What’s the best way to ensure that your organization adopts EHR usage both quickly and effectively?
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executive (CHIME) recently released a guide called The CIO’s Guide to Implementing EHRs in the HITECH Era, which contains advice compiled from 170 CHIME members about their implementation experiences.
A few key themes come up again and again when discussing EMR implementation best practices.

  1. EMR implementation cannot be an IT project. That sounds counterintuitive, but while it’s true that IT will handle the technology implementation, the project must be led by the CEO and COO on the administrative side, and by the CMO and CNO on the clinical side. The C-suite needs to be the public face of these changes.
  2. An overhaul like EHR systems requires a high level of engagement. Communication with key people is important. The CIO should deliver regular (no less than quarterly) briefings to the rest of the C-suite and the board.
  3. If your organization isn’t large enough to warrant hiring a CMIO, at least recruit a physician who can champion the EHR and dedicate a majority of her time to its success. This person’s role would be to:
  • Lead by example by doing the work and demonstrating to others it can be done
  • Help others move through the cultural change process
  • Share new learning with professional colleagues
  • Communicate a consistent message to all staff; both clinical and non-clinical
  • “Sell” the EHR implementation and its benefits to everyone involved
  • Show commitment: If the physicians are not onboard, the rest of the staff will be hesitant to support the new system.

When it comes to implementing EHR or electronic medical records (EMRs), the responsibility for shouldering the implementation workload should not fall only on the IT managers. A successful implementation requires the input, collaboration and participation of the organizations administration, faculty and medical staff.
At Morgan Hunter Healthcare, we specialize in finding the right people for wide array of healthcare services.  Looking for EHR-savvy employees? Contact us today!