The human side of EHR implementation: 5 key tactics for a smooth transition

Laura Dyrda for Becker’s Hospital Review

EHR implementation and upgrades continue to play a big role in the CIO’s responsibilities.

However, CIOs are now more cognizant of the challenges for physicians and clinicians during new technology roll-out.

During the Becker’s Hospital Review 5th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle event in Chicago on Oct. 10, four panelists discussed tips for EHR implementation and physician engagement during a session titled “How Will Big Tech and Wall Street Impact Healthcare?” The panelists include Stephen Morgan, senior vice president and CMIO of Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Va.; Chris Joerg, CISO of Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Megan Ranney, MD, director of emergency digital health innovation program at Brown University in Providence, R.I.; and Aaron Miri, CIO of Dell Medical School and UT Health Austin (Texas).

Here are five key takeaways:

  1. Devise a team to examine the human factors associated with EHR implementation to design better systems and processes around EHR utilization. This can help reduce clinician burnout and bring physicians on board with the transition.
  2. Provide structures for team members to bring up new ideas during and after EHR implementation. It’s easy to become so focused on the implementation that you forget to innovate; but if you engage clinicians and seek to understand what isn’t working, then you can fix the issues and increase buy-in.
  3. Create a space for constructive feedback. Avoid team members just complaining or venting about a new system implementation by having patience and guiding them to be constructive with their feedback. Then, as a leader, follow through with making changes.
  4. The executive leadership should be available in the trenches during implementation so they are accessible. You can also hold regular forums for feedback or ask for drop-box feedback. One example was having a “What’s the Fix” box where people can propose one-minute fixes to issues instead of lodging complaints.
  5. Construct a user-centric design team that can teach physicians and clinicians how to think about design principles.
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