Welcome to my EHR travel blog! Because installing a major new EHR is an absolute adventure. For me writing is therapeutic, after this experience, I probably should see a real therapist, but I don’t have time. Maybe after go-live. In the meantime, I will ramble to my hairstylist; she is a good listener.
T-215 days to Go-Live. I arrived at my new hospital system in June. The organization is slated to receive the new Cerner EHR in 2022. I am pumped! So first action, learn the players. Schedule one-on-one office calls with our version of the C-Suite. Highlight my goals as the CIO, my vision for the IT division, and emphasize we are partners in healthcare delivery. I am not a barrier; I want the same thing as any clinician: safe, quality care. Information technology is a tool. Sometimes it is useful, while other times it is not. I don’t push technology; I push quality care.
T-185 days to Go-Live. There are a lot of activities, people, and pre-planning for a successful implementation. There is training, medical device integration, supply chain coordination, hardware coordination, workflow validations, solution calls, and data collection. Initially, it was confusing who does what and why. So I designed this simple organization chart to know the team and their roles. I also recognized I need more clinical engagement, so with the advice of a few CIOs, I created Operational Leader positions. These teammates will be my extenders in their departments.
Some days are tough. Emotions are high as everyone is trying to ensure a successful implementation. You will have representatives from various industry partners, different departments, and your corporate office. However, sometimes you need to take a pause and do some team building. So I suggested a last-minute happy hour event away from the hospital. I was ecstatic about the turnout. One of the industry partners said after numerous go-lives, this is the first time people got together after work. My thought? Somehow breaking bread with someone changes your perspective, especially if the bread is good.
T-160 days to Go-Live. Training is crucial and painful. The task of slotting over 8,000 people in a class based on roles is a significant undertaking. Every EHR vendor has a method of assigning positions. For us, it starts with the user role assignment (URA). This is the blueprint for success and needs every bit of attention from the entire clinical community. We initially had challenges because we went bottoms up (lowest level staff workers) working with schedulers. However, right before our first suspense, we pushed the list top-down (department chiefs/nursing supervisors). In hindsight, we should have pushed the URA list to the staff at the bottom, top, sideways, and upside down. We needed 100 percent eyes on.
T-154 days to Go-Live. Currently, we are working on converting conference rooms to classrooms, developing an engagement plan with our champions, scheduling super-user/user training, and receiving the hardware. Stay tuned.
Chani Cordero, CIO at Brooke Army Medical Center, has chosen to document the organization’s EHR journey on LinkedIn so that others can learn from their experience — also, “because it’s free therapy.” To view the original post, click here.