Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are an effective means to reduce medical errors, increase productivity, and improve overall patient care. However, organizing a comprehensive plan of action is essential when transitioning to an EMR. Loretta Gallagher, Founder of Gallagher Associates located in Wayne, New Jersey, specializes in assisting hospitals and corporations with implementing EMR and professional developmental systems. She states that subject matter experts and respected decision makers from all areas of the organization should first be identified. These subject matter experts will make up your IT Steering Committee, oversee the decision-making process, sign off on new workflows, and keep the project on target.
The Steering Committee members ideally represent all roles within the organization and will break out into smaller sub groups based on role and service line. These sub groups, and/ or application teams, meet regularly to determine current state vs future state workflow. Application analysts as well as the Clinical Informatics team members typically lead and own the workflow validation sessions. As the vendor and application analyst team demonstrate the future state workflows, the training team members will be documenting all decisions. Post validation sessions, the training team will capture all workflow decisions into workflow Visio’s.
The workflow Visio’s, or EMR blueprint, should be reviewed and approved by the IT steering committee. Build starts when future state workflows have been validated and approved.
The application team should meet weekly to ensure the decisions remain sound and to ensure clinical operational readiness. The Steering Committee, the higher decision-making body, typically meets bi-weekly. Loretta Gallagher outlines various steps that should be taken while transitioning to EMR.
Loretta Gallagher claims that individuals should be prepared for some people to challenge new workflow decisions in training. When a group, let’s use nursing as an example is told they have a new workflow it is seamless to be able to explain that it was vetted and signed off by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).
With over 18 years of professional experience, Loretta Gallagher remains an industry leader in Implementing EMR initiatives. For more information on her services visit http://gallagher-associate.com.