Awesome communication is the essence of a good EHR Project

The word “Awesome” gets bandied about quite a bit (usually by surfers in California if you believe the movies), but based on my experience, the word is appropriate when it comes to any project, but EHR more so than ever. The inevitable question may arise? Why awesome?

If you think about it, would you want to have a physician that treats you not focused on you when he or she is with you in the examination room? Physicians have a number of things always circulating in their minds and in order to stay on top of everything that is going on, short, concise and easy snapshots are what they need to have.

Also, make them your ally. Physicians are already wary as it is about the benefits of IT in their workplace and that too the EHR, and it will not help your cause if you come across as hardline IT with them. Make it a sale. Go into any meeting with a physician with the thought that they will be skeptical about change and find a way in which to hear them out. The art of listening will do you good. Trying to explain the benefits of the EHR in any first meeting will not get you far (unless your physician has had experience and then they may tell you all of the headaches they had to endure such as documentation taking longer, not having any weekends left into their already non-existent ones.

One of the ways that I was able to keep everyone in tune with the message was to have regular “scrums” during the project. We would “sprint” from scrum to scrum and would identify changes or lessons learned from the sprint. This really helped the team stay focused and was instrumental in keeping everyone on track with our deliverables. Of course, it could all go out of whack if an emergency plastic surgery ended up happening and the physician was called in when he needed to meet with the development team (um….we won’t go there), but overall, the scrums worked 90% of the time for our purposes.

One of the physicians that I worked with, said she enjoyed cooking Indian food and I, being the cook that I am, said I would assist her with recipes and gave her ideas to spice up her dish. Needless to say, ice-breakers to facilitate easier communication may come from the most surprising sources. Watch out for them!


One thought on “Awesome communication is the essence of a good EHR Project

  1. Steve Hedges

    What makes for a successful project? The answer may not be as difficult as it seems. The real answer can be found in one word…communications.
    Many projects have failed because a task was not clearly communicated or what was said was not what was heard. Communication is increasingly important today when so many companies are working across cultures and countries. Just a simple example is the setting of meeting. The time must be explicitly communicated including the time zone. Yes scheduling systems will adjust for time zones but only if the originators time zone is given.
    For projects to be successful there has to be consistent communications at all levels of the project. The end result of the project needs to be clearly understood by each project member, stakeholder and sponsor. If everyone is not aligned to a single goal there is just too much room for misunderstanding and misinformation, both of which can be very detrimental to a project.
    Depending on the project and the industry this communications could be a matter of saving a life or losing a life.

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