Change in an EMR Implementation

Posted on October 20, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I love when EMR sales people try to say that doing an EMR implementation will be just the same as what they’re doing now, but electronically. While this might be true in many respects there’s no way you can get around change. It’s an essential part of an EMR implementation. I apologize if you’re tired of hearing about this topic since I’ve talked about it over and over (some nice pictures on this one) and over again in the last 4 years. I just think it’s important that people have realistic expectations.

One thing I recently heard at a conference was related to change in an EMR implementation. They said that you should “Change Enough to matter, but not so far that you have to change jobs.”

I loved that description. It describes perfectly the need to change something of substance so that people want to change and that they see progress being made. However, you don’t want to go after everything and fail. This is why many people including myself often recommend the phased in approach to an EMR implementation.

One other important aspect when change is about to happen during an EMR implementation. You must prepare staff for why you are changing. If you don’t, it’s a recipe for failure. The fact of the matter for an EMR implementation is that users are likely to lose some functionality and gain some functionality. We all deal with these changes a little better if we know about them beforehand.