Although electronic health record systems have been around for many years, best practices for successful EHR implementation are still emerging. Health care CIOs and IT executives can learn a great deal from peers who’ve already gone through the EHR implementation effort.
To that end, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has released an EHR implementation guidebook for health care CIOs. This free, 80-page book, titled The CIO’s Guide to Implementing EHRs in the HITECH Era, offers detailed guidance for CIOs involved in an EHR implementation effort. The guide is based on input from nearly 170 CHIME members.
The organization “felt it was important to gather the collective wisdom of our members and produce a guide that could help the nation’s providers through the next few years,” said CHIME Board President Timothy Stettheimer.
Here are some key highlights from the guidebook:
- CEOs and senior executives must understand that an EHR implementation is a transformational initiative, not a simple IT project. A successful EHR installation requires a high level of ongoing support from executive staff.
- Expectation management is a key factor in a successful EHR installation. Health IT executives must be open and honest with staff members about the level of work involved in the project.
- IT staffing needs will create an additional expense for both EHR implementation and support as the shortage of qualified health IT professionals intensifies over the next few years.
- Health IT executives must build closer partnerships with vendors to achieve mutual goals.
- Proper training and implementation support are crucial for EHR success, but there is no one-size-fits-all method of training.
CIOs who are ready to start shopping for an EHR system can check out the EHR buyer’s guide.