2017's top tips for improving the quality of care
2017 was a year of many great accomplishments and several key insights. At Leidos, we would like to sum up the year recapping some of the major takeaways that may help your organization better prepare for the challenges and opportunities of 2018.
Some of the challenges and solutions we discussed centered around improving the quality of care as a universal goal within the healthcare industry. That goal is often hindered by the number of siloed or proprietary technology systems that clinicians and patients must muddle through when seeking treatment.
At the core of the solution to improving the quality of care is a robust Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) that centralizes healthcare and patient data and securely increases its access, with the goal of facilitating meaningful healthcare treatment and administration.
Doing so, however, requires a strong understanding around the moving parts associated with an EHR implementation and go-live event. The costs and complexity of an EHR represent one of the major challenges and subsequent solutions we focused on in 2017. Extending an EHR to an affiliate through a partnership is a solution we discussed that solves for the need for more hospitals and clinics of all shapes and sizes to provide greater access of data to their patients and to other organizations within their healthcare communities.
We explored the ability to leverage tools and technology through affiliation to continuously improve the quality of care and reduce the costs that stem from larger hospitals that implemented EHRs. However, success depends on collaboration and successful integration with the EHR systems and the prospective affiliate network. Success also depends upon the ability of both parties to do the pre-planning and homework ahead of implementation and ahead of the go-live.
A pre-implementation activity that drives a smooth transition is to follow a methodology toward project management and define, communicate, and understand the scope of the EHR implementation and adoption. A significant and common setback is the need to overcome hospital staff that deviates from the established methodologies. Pre-planning minimizes this potential challenge.
During the pre-implementation planning, it’s also important to understand your organization’s leadership structure and hospital culture. Understanding, documenting, and communicating the culture goes a long way towards gaining leadership support. Since EHR implementations are mostly about implementing change, leaders need to create a supportive environment that demonstrates that the EHR teams are there to help them.
One way to create an approachable and positive environment is through a warm welcome from the leadership, particularly the clinicians. Successful adoption of an EHR needs to be driven by the clinical and administrative staff. Leadership that sets realistic expectations and timelines and addresses the fear of change, regardless of the challenges, can set the tone for a successful launch and subsequent adoption.
Proper preparation for legacy system support teams is another effective planning exercise to complete before the go-live. For example, filling out all personnel forms ahead of time and providing the incoming legacy support team with information about facility access requirements is extremely beneficial. Similarly, consideration for a fully equipped workspace, including network connectivity and remote access is also important for the effectiveness of the implementation.
2017 was another dynamic year in healthcare, and one filled with many helpful insights. Knowing about those key insights and keeping them in mind as we approach 2018 can help your organization better prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead. To learn more about the information discussed here as well as well as other helpful topics and tips, please sign-up to receive our blog in 2018.
Thank you for a great year!
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