What can go wrong with an EMR implementation

What can go wrong with an EMR implementationMay 2, 2014 by Vickie Anenberg

No matter the size of your organization, making the switch to an electronic medical record (EMR) system is a huge task: one that can often be overwhelming. From lack of buy-in or planning to employee burn-out, any number of obstacles can derail the process.

Even the most common EMR implementation methods – such as the solution offered by Epic Systems – encounter adversities.

That information was contained in a report published last year by The Advisory Board Company titled Reaping the Benefits and Avoiding the Risks of an Epic Implementation. It identified several risks common to any type of EMR implementation. Some of those mentioned include:

The loss of organizational goodwill In the case of Epic, this can happen because extensive configuration is required after the new system has gone live, which can eventually lead to less cooperation from physicians and end-users. Any implementation that drags on runs this risk.

Operational ownership EMR implementation is viewed as an IT project by some departments. Epic recognized this problem early on and began stressing the importance of assigning specific roles and responsibilities. This creates a wider group of stakeholders and ensures participation.

Lack of staffing Although Epic’s recommended implementation staffing numbers are higher than most EMR vendors, it still often falls 20 percent to 30 percent short of the full requirements for the implementation project.

Because implementation is such a big enterprise, EMR transition staffing is often a challenge and it’s difficult to correctly estimate the needed resources. An experienced staffing provider can fill this knowledge gap.

Cross Country Staffing (CCS) has developed an implementation process that alleviates stress on its hospital and healthcare clients by backfilling staffing needs as they go through EMR implementation. CCS works with clients to create a plan that meets their specific staffing needs and helps to make electronic medical record implementation more manageable.