The Davies Awards have repeatedly revealed a shared conviction from the top of the organization down through all levels. Healthcare is an information business. Successful EMR implementations are the result of focused strategic planning, vision, leadership and daily, tactical, hands-on guidance. Proactive implementation management drives widespread organizational support and promotes staff involvement. All of this starts with a readiness assessment of the organization, ensuring that:
Executive commitment is understood – If you are the executive sponsor of a major HIT project or program, it is important to know what your responsibilities are during the various phases of the project. Programs are most successful when executive commitment is like goldilocks, "not too hot, not too cold". Ensure that you answer the question, "what are the responsibilities of the executive sponsor(s) during the course of the program?". This will help ensure the project has appropriate support and commitment throughout.
Resource commitment is understood – Financial and staff resources, including operational impacts and opportunity costs, must be well understood before embarking on the journey. The commitment of financial and human resources for the is likely to be of greater scope than most assume. To gain insight into this question, spend time gathering information on comparative projects to answer what resource demands they required. If there are high degrees of uncertainty on your program, use order of magnitude estimates of 2x on the labor commitment. You can also provide simple weekly time entry tracking on the project to assess how well you have estimated the labor cost and adjust going forward.
Key stakeholders are identified and on-board – While the formal leadership is important to the project it is equally as important to identify the informal leaders and get them on board before you start the program. These are the "water cooler" leaders. Those that we know if they are bought in, others will follow. Sit down with these key stakeholders and discuss the project, its impact to their world, the goals the hospital and discuss an envisioned future that they can get excited about. Early engagement of key stakeholders ensures a sense of involvement and a high-level of ongoing commitment and removal of obstacles blocking the project deliverables.
We are ready to kick-off the project when…
Key success factors are defined
We have a consistent value message & clear communication channels
We know how big the investment will be and how it will be managed
The scope and charter of the program is defined and communicated
We have formal management and governance structures in place
We have an adequate training structure and adoption strategy
Business line managers and staff are ready