Ushering change into a busy organization is seldom (if ever) easy. CPOE implementation is no different. Jerry Chevalier, veteran MEDITECH consultant, has stepped in to shed some light on how you can ensure a successful implementation.
Having a great tool in place is meaningless if users don’t know how to work with it effectively. In my work as a consultant, I’ve noticed that one of the biggest obstacles for many organizations is getting their staff properly trained. If you’re having trouble getting everyone in the game, make sure that upper management is presenting a unified front and enforcing completion of training. Also, make sure you’re effectively communicating the value of proper use to your staff. If they can understand the end goal of implementation they’ll be more likely to take ownership.
Once you’ve gotten through initial training, providing the right support for physicians as they are learning to perform CPOE is crucial to long-term implementation benefits. This is where the Physician Liaison comes in. Armed with a strong knowledge base of process, and system operations, they will ensure training is complete and CPOE adoption is successful. Some organizations believe the Physician Liaison is nothing more than an educator while others are given the authority to suspend staff that don’t complete training. The person you select as your Physician Liaison should be more than a teacher and needs to be able to manage challenging personalities. At a minimum, the Physician Liaison should participate in weekly medical staff meetings, provide technical support and leadership, provide strategic planning, and work in tandem with nurse educators to assist in fully instructing the staff.
In a multi-facility environment, it is very easy to forget that each facility is unique. Hopefully, the organization as a whole is working towards identifying a set of procedures and dictionaries that are basically the same. Recognize, however, that each facility may have truly unique procedures, terminology, content, service lines, etc. and that there is such a thing as taking standardization too far. Service Lines may be different or not even exist, depending on the facility. In addition, Selection Sets (group responses) may have different content from facility to facility even though the procedure name may be the same. These types of procedures should be judged on a case-by-case basis and not automatically expected to be made generically the same for everyone’s use. Ancillary is one place that these differences seem to have the greatest impact (i.e. Cath Lab, EP, Special Procedures, Interventional Radiology, PT, OT and Speech, Dietary, etc.). Ensure that IT understands that its role here is not to dictate practice or process, but to support clinical care though efficient and effective means.
Implementing CPOE at your organization doesn’t have to feel like a burden. It’s hard work to be sure, but successful launches can pay for themselves relatively quickly. By ensuring your staff is properly trained, establishing proper roles and procedures for IT support, and getting the right personalities on the team, you should have no trouble pulling off a project that your whole team can be proud of.