Example 1: Staff Readiness for EHR Implementation

Issues Encountered

Three independent orthopedic practices recently implemented the same EHR product. Each practice struggled with their implementation because they were unprepared in many respects to move to an EHR. Each of the practices identified the lack of basic computing skills among staff members as a major challenge. One of the practices reported that some of their longtime staff members were unable or unwilling to work with the new EHR system. Another practice reported that staff were upset because the new EHR actually created new work for them. For example, the office manager reported spending 95% of her time resolving IT issues, rather than fulfilling her other duties.

Finding a Solution

These practices recommended that organizations make sure that the necessary competencies are in place before proceeding with implementation. These practices found it helpful to hire new staff members who were proficient with IT to help existing staff get up to speed.

Lesson Learned: 
  • Implementation should move at the pace that your practice is ready for. Make sure that the necessary competencies (e.g., basic computer skills) are in place before proceeding with EHR implementation.
  • EHR implementation will have dramatic effects on how work is done. EHR implementation may result in more work for some members of your organization.

Randeree E. Exploring physician adoption of EMRs: a multi-case analysis. J Med Syst. 2007 Dec; 31(6): 489-96.

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