You’ve selected your new EHR vendor. Now it’s time to start your EHR implementation planning process. You may feel like you’re up against a never-ending cycle of system build and testing, and you have a lot of boxes to check until you reach the coveted stabilization phase.
We get it. Implementing your EHR may be the largest, most complex project you'll ever take on. But by applying the right framework for staffing, training, and testing, you can do more than just checking the boxes for a successful go-live. You can transform your organization.
When it comes to staffing for a transformational implementation, you may be thinking you need an army of people to help you. However, that’s not the case. You need strong mentors and leaders in the form of effective project team analysts.
Your project team analysts play a vital role in the success of your implementation. They take the lead on workflow configuration, testing, and system go-live readiness. Project team analysts help you build effective workflows to support your staff, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes – results that help your organization truly transform.
Since the project team analyst is such a critical component of your implementation, it can be difficult to know what to look for when staffing this role. Below are three traits we’ve seen in the most successful analysts.
1. System knowledge
Given that these folks will spend much of their time building and testing the system, it’s critical they understand how the system works. Application certification is a great way to show a basic level of understanding. If your staff struggles with certification, they will likely struggle with system build and testing during the implementation. However, certification is only the beginning – it's important you continue to track analysts’ progress toward understanding advanced system build and configuration concepts, both within their application and integrated workflows.
2. Relationships with operations
Your analysts will work closely with the project champions and subject matter experts for their application to design workflows and translate operations’ current day-to-day work to how they will function going forward with your EHR. Without clear communication and collaboration across these groups, you risk configuring a system that doesn’t match end-user needs. An existing strong relationship with operations, or the ability to build one, can mitigate that risk.
3. Project management skills
Your analysts will have many competing tasks and deadlines to manage throughout the implementation, including system build, integrated area work, testing preparation and execution, and training material review, just to name a few. Someone who can organize and manage all of the to-dos, plan ahead, meet deadlines, and escalate when they have concerns about completing their work on planned timelines will help ensure your implementation stays on track.
Ideally, you’ll have a balance of these skills on each of your application teams. If you find analysts who excel in all these areas, great. However, many analysts might excel in one or two areas and need additional support in the third. While staffing your application teams, look across members to see if you have an overall balance of these skills. If you find a gap on one of your teams, you may need to supplement with additional support (most often from a project management standpoint).
If you need help staffing your EHR implementation, or would like guidance on your implementation strategy, please reach out. We’d love to listen to your unique challenges to determine the best methodology to help your organization transform.