How do I conduct a post-implementation evaluation?

How do I conduct a post-implementation evaluation?

The Basics

Evaluating your electronic health record (EHR) implementation is a critical EHR implementation step. Conducting a post-implementation evaluation will enable your practice to continue improving workflows, achieve your goals and needs, and realize the benefits of EHRs. During your post-implementation evaluation, you should check that the practice/hospital/health center team is still intact and that workflows are running smoothly, with few workarounds. You should also seek to identify unresolved vendor issues, interface issues, and staff training needs. You can use the findings of your post-implementation evaluation to target and implement initiatives that will enable your practice/hospital/health center to continue quality improvement.

Timing

You should evaluate your EHR implementation approximately three to four weeks after your go-live date. If the EHR system is not working, the practice may revert back to the previous paper-based workflow, which can impair the overall success of your EHR implementation. To avoid reverting back to your previous paper-based workflow, it is critical that you evaluate your EHR implementation soon after go-live.

What information should I collect?

Consider asking the following questions as you continue quality improvement and evaluate your EHR implementation.

  • Culture and Adoption
    • What did we learn about ourselves that we did not know before?
    • Have all of our providers/departments migrated to an EHR or are some providers still waiting?
    • Do workflow processes need to be re-evaluated? Are providers returning to pre-EHR workflows?
    • Do any staff need additional training?
    • Are we capturing the required data elements needed for internal clinical priorities, as well as for reportable quality measures and meaningful use objectives?
    • Have unplanned consequences arisen due to the implementation of the EHR?
  • Network and Infrastructure
    • If there are network bottlenecks and downtimes, have we logged and reported them?
    • Is technology (hardware, software) in the right places?
    • Are technology tools reliable?
    • Have we ensured personal health information is used and disclosed in a secure environment?
  • EHR Vendor
    • What did we learn about our EHR vendor that we didn't know before?
    • What issues must be resolved before the practice is handed over to the vendor's Technical Support and Maintenance division?

For More Information

For more information about evaluating an EHR implementation and how you can use the information you collect for quality improvement, see the following resources.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013