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Teri Kovach on Challenges of Implementing a New EHR

Getting people on board when a new electronic health record (EHR) is being implemented is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome and is important for the success of the new EHR, said Teri Kovach, RN, OCN, compliance officer and charge nurse at Salish Cancer Center.


Getting people on board when a new electronic health record (EHR) is being implemented is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome and is important for the success of the new EHR, said Teri Kovach, RN, OCN, compliance officer and charge nurse at Salish Cancer Center.

Transcript

What are the biggest challenges or pitfalls for a practice implementing a new electronic health record?

The biggest issue is getting everybody on board, and making sure that everyone knows their role, and follows a role, and seriously undertakes what needs to be done. It’s imperative that the providers be on board because if they can’t figure out how to write their orders or put in their regimen sets, it just messes everything up; and how to sign off the orders, and when to sign off the orders, and just from the minute that patient walks in the door it should just be very smooth.

The workflow should present such that the patient doesn’t realize if you’re having any glitches or any issues, it’s just smooth for them. But, having the buy-in and making sure that the staff is going to follow through is the most important thing.

How do you get to a point where the buy-in is there for implementing a new EHR?

In our instance, we were switching from another EHR system, which was very rough. So, we were told this was going to be so much easier, and it is much easier but I think everyone kind of took that to heart, that it was going to be so much easier, so they weren’t going to have to think because if I could do this really hard one, this will be no problem.

Of course, people perhaps didn’t get their 1-on-1 long enough or they were cut off to go do something else, and the time was short. I think the biggest issue for us would have been that once we had our implementation, that we had somebody come back about a month later, have 1 person come back for a couple of days 1 month later, to go over everything and work with the glitches because every day gets better—by strides and by months it gets better.

So, we’re still struggling because we just implemented in May, and we did not have everybody on board. The providers definitely were not ready, we bought the nuance, your dictation, for them to train their dragon and get that all ready before we went live—nobody did it, so now we’re doing that and going live. So, no matter how hard you try to plan it out, just keep planning and keep on task and keep hounding them to get the specific things done that they need to do.

 
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