Measuring Success or Failure of an EMR Implementation

Posted on December 14, 2010 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.

A reader of EMR and HIPAA asked the following interesting question:

I was wondering if you had or heard of anyone coming up with a way to measure if the EHR implementation was successful. Other than “its in!”. Im trying to help some clients define this but cant seem to find anyone who has done this. Im thinking something like:
Were all staff trained prior to go live?
Were project goals achieved? etc

Here’s my response that I hope you’ll find useful as well:
It’s an interesting question. I’d suggest you download my free EMR Selection e-Book.

In the book, I cover the various areas where a practice can get benefit from implementing an EMR. I suggest that each practice evaluate which of the benefits they are looking to achieve with their EMR implementation. Then, it works out nicely that it’s the criteria you can use for selecting an EMR and also for measuring how successful the EMR implementation has been.

That’s how I’d approach measuring the success or failure of an EMR implementation. Of course, you could also add in any unforeseen events (good and bad) that happened during the EMR implementation too.

The real key is to establish a set of goals or expectations for what you want to get out of the EMR implementation so you have a way to evaluate the EMR software and the EMR implementation. Then, it’s good to actually look at this criteria after the implementation to see if you fell short of those goals and what you could do to actually achieve them.

Implementing an EMR is a living, breathing thing. The best EMR implementations are evolving and improving as you continue to roll out more features of an EMR or better utilize the existing features. Not to mention all the new features that an EMR vendor will roll out as they upgrade their software.