Why EMR Implementation As Just An IT Project Seldom Succeeds

Cliff Bleustein | EHR Intelligence | September 3, 2013

I have worked with dozens of hospitals to plan, implement, and optimize their EMR, so I’ve learned a great deal about what creates a successful implementation. I’ve also worked to remediate problems for hospitals that have experienced major difficulties or outright failure with EMR implementation, and have learned important lessons about what can go wrong.

Every major EMR vendor has horror stories about go-lives gone wrong because implementation failure is not about the choice of software or hardware, but about a lack of leadership buy-in, poor governance, absent end-goal development, and difficulty managing diverse constituent perspectives.

Perhaps the biggest source of trouble is the failure of executives to identify the right governance structure at the outset of the project. Too often, they automatically see any project involving technology as an IT project. But an EMR implementation is less about technology than it is about transforming your workflows and processes to be more efficient, more patient-centered, and more information-driven.