Patient Centered Care Working Group Call - February 12, 2014

It took 3 weeks to actually make this presentation, but it covers a topic that should be of great interest to anyone concerned with patient and patient data safety in the healthcare setting. Last month, the ONC published a series of guides to assist provider organizations in successfully deploying the EHR of their choice. Since I have been party to the deployment of EHRs in a couple of settings, and done the pre-assessment work required to try to prepare the clinicians and staff for the way their roles and work-flows will change when using an EHR, I really appreciate these clear, accessible guides.

We all know that implementing an EHR, either for the first time or to replace one that doesn't have needed functionality, WILL cause disruptions in workflow, efficiency, and slow down patient ‘through-put’ during the initial phases. Much of the dissatisfaction with EHRs, aside from usability factors (which are an entire other presentation), has to do with misperceptions and unfulfilled (usually unrealistic) expectations on the part of the users. Using these guides before choosing an EHR, before beginning implementation, and after implementation to assess impact on the safety of patient’s health and data will, if nothing else, help to bring expectations in line with reality and highlight both risks and successful strategies for mitigating them.

Utilizing the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides before making an EHR choice, as well as during implementation and for ongoing configuration and customization effort will almost guarantee achievement of meaningful use certification as well. Links in the attached presentation will take you directly to each guide and checklist. Check them out, it's an example of your tax dollars doing real good in the real world.