Success with EHR Implementations


Failure rates of EHRs are reputed to be in excess of 70% according to a LinkedIn discussion group that has more than 2,300  posts and counting.  If you want to be in the 30% cluster the following will be of interest to you.

Healthcare is complex. No two agencies manage patients the same way. One-size-fits-all “solutions” do not work.  At the other end of the spectrum you can hire a consultant to build the next-generation Ferarri in their garage. Bill Gates did it. Steve Jobs did it. Why not your consultant?

Your options at this point are down to one – configuring an off-the-shelf product to suit your needs.

But, how can you ensure that any software product will meet your current needs? And, who says, anyway, that your staff will be able to articulate the needs of your agency in language that a vendor will understand?

The simple formula for success in shopping for an EHR is to take one of your programs and have the prospective vendor build a process map for your program, assign skill categories for the performance of tasks, attach to each task images of any forms needed to record data at the task and to provide evidence of task completion and give you access to a run time environment where you can piano-play instances of your program. All at no charge.

If the vendor cannot do this within 2-3 days or, if the vendor cannot be bothered, you need to move on.

The watchwords listening to vendor-speak are “configuration” versus “customization”. Configuration requires little time and little labor, customization requires significant time and significant labor. Guess who ends up paying?

Here is a tip that will probably save you from being led down a garden path when shopping for an EHR.

It’s very easy to mock up a software system so that it appears to be doing this or that.  So, as and when your prospective vendor gets back to you with an implementation of your program, tell the vendor at the start of the web demo that you want to run the demo.  If you cannot process a patient through an instance of your own program without training, your staff will not be able to either in the eventual all-program EHR environment.

When was the last time you bought a car without test-driving it yourself?

About kwkeirstead@civerex.com

Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in critical infrastructure protection, healthcare, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, job shop manufacturing and b2b organizations. (C) 2010-2017 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Financial Planning, FIXING HEALTHCARE, Operational Planning, Project Planning, Strategic Planning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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