Worst EMR implementation sins: Lack of communication, shortsightedness

For hospital executives, the task of implementing electronic medical record (EMR) systems clearly is not an easy one. The high costs of installing and maintaining such systems, combined with the headaches of simultaneously trying to convert to ICD-10, mean there's no shortage of roadblocks impeding the process.

What are some other obstacles that can get in the way of your facility becoming compliant with Meaningful Use? According to an article on Healthcare IT News, Steve Waldren, director of the American Academy of Family Physicians' Center for Health IT, and Rosemarie Nelson, principal of the MGMA Consulting Group, outline what are referred to by the publication as the "7 deadly sins of EMR implementation."

Included among the worst transgressions an executive can commit are:

Failing to include nurses from the get-go: Everyone, from the doctors on down, should be involved in every stage of EMR implementation, according to Nelson. "[Doctors] don't think about how much the nurse preps the chart, how often the nurse presents information to them, and how much the nurse handles patients over the phone," she says.

Assuming you can handle the project without help: Nelson calls this sin "an opportunity to burn out staff." Instead, she says, hire temporary workers to help allocate the extra work until the transition period is over.

Not thinking about the bigger picture: Waldren tells Healthcare IT News that it's not only important to know where you are, but also to know where you're headed. "You can't be shortsighted," he says. "It needs to measure quality improvements and populations, like those with diabetes, for example."

To learn about the remaining EMR implementation sins:
- read the full Healthcare IT News article