Collaboration is key in a successful EHR implementation

We're thinking most of you know this already, but it certainly bears repeating now that billions of taxpayer dollars are on the line: EHRs are not just technology projects. "The hospitals that achieve a successful EHR implementation are the ones in which the C-suite and HIM director work collaboratively to achieve the goal," writes HCPro Senior Managing Editor Lisa Eramo in HealthLeaders magazine.

To illustrate collaboration, Eramo discusses how Leslie Scarborough, HIM director at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, CA, has gained influence by being a direct report to the hospital's CIO. (Not said, but also an important factor in a successful EHR project, is the fact that Hoag's CEO, Dr. Richard Afable, has a strong background in health informatics, and previously served as chief medical officer at Catholic Health East.) Being able to work directly with the CIO has gotten Scarborough a seat at IT leadership meetings, where discussions often get technical, around issues such as HIPAA compliance and how the EHR would affect patients' legal medical records.

McAlester (OK) Regional Health Center actively involves the CFO in health IT decisions, and not just to say yes or no to spending decisions. The CFO sits on the hospital's Utilization Review Committee and participates in a compliance workgroup. The CIO also is an integral part of the C-suite, working with the CEO, CMO, CNO and other top executives. "We meet as a group twice a week, and when we have a 'round-robin,' I can represent HIS/coding and bring up any issues at that time that affect IT, nursing, or the business office," says Glennda Gore, McAlester's VP of corporate compliance and risk management.

For more information on collaboration between HIM and the C-suite:
- have a look at the HealthLeaders story