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All Things HIT

Dec 10 2010   10:45AM GMT

CIO Survey on EHR Challenges, Reveals Human Nature

Posted by: AllinHIT

CHIME, recently revealed the results of their recent November survey on the optimism, and challenges centered around acheiving Meaningful Use with EHR systems.  What was particularly interesting, was the waning attitude of success, indicated by the variances from their last survey in August.  Another point, less surprising, was that one of the biggest challenges for implementing CPOE, is to get the clinical staff to use the system.  After reading this, I thought about despite the millions being spent on Health IT, the financial incentives, and the many “water cooler” conversations on HITECH in the hospital, the real success of HITECH, will depend upon fighting human nature’s nemesis, CHANGE!

This is really no surprise to most of us in the Health IT world.  EMR adoption, especially prior to HITECH, was not necessarily at the top of a hospital or physician’s list.  Now times have changed, and hospitals, physicians, nurses, PA’s, MA’s, and all other healthcare workers know that adoption is a matter of when, not if. The challenge is transferring acknowledgement of this fact, into “buy-in” among the clinical staff.  Making them a part of the change, not resistant to it.  But, how can that be done? 

First, take a survey of your clinical staff to identify attitudes towards adoption.  You can design the survey to identify three separate groups.  The Enthusiatics, the Fencers, and the Naysayers.  The enthusiastics are looking forward to adoption, the Fencers are those that can take it or leave it, and the Naysayers, well are naysayers!  Identifying clinical staff in this way, will assist in developing training and implementation schedules and strategies.  For example, I would have pair an Enthusiatic with a Naysayer for training.  The Enthusiatic will probably learn the system faster, and could become your champion to the Naysayers.  Also, it may help in developing your project team, having Enthusiastics representing their perspective areas.

Second, create “buy-in” beginning with the planning process prior to vendor SELECTION.  The short-listing process of vendors should include a hospital team that representing stakeholders from each user group within the hospital.  Physicians, nurses, hospitalist, ED, Radiology, patient registration, pharmacy, and others effected should be able to voice opinions on vendors.  The clinical staff “having a say” on vendor selection, will garner support even if a stakeholders’ particular choice is not selected!  Knowing that one’s opinion count, is a basic human nature you can use to combat its nemesis, CHANGE!

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