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March 06, 2017
EVOLUTIONARY ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD PROJECTS-ADAPT OR DIE (Part I)
By: Ulla Kuukka

EMRs should be seen as holistic, organisational transformation of health and social care providers, that touches all hearts and minds in the organisation.

Just as the change faced by organisms in an unpredictable world has enabled the evolutionary selection of stronger individuals, so the change-resistance of many healthcare organisations to EMRs may, naturally, weed out the good providers from the great ones. In some cases, it may have more severe consequences—and could mean the difference between survival and closure.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) projects change pretty much everything in healthcare environments, and are now starting to affect the social care space as well. A new program in Southern Finland is the world’s first program combing social and health care processes into one system. Accenture insights confirm that EMR projects, in general, are the most complex and expensive IT projects that health and social care organisations will ever undertake. Modern EMRs drive change that is mandatory to move to more customer-centric, safe and cost-effective healthcare.

Natural Resistance to Change

Change is something we resist naturally. When health organisations understand that resistance is unavoidable, the change journey can be properly planned. This planning includes step-by-step support, taking into account the unique needs of different groups.

Communication and training are not enough—the process requires a structured framework and proven methods to ensure change is managed and supported diligently. Fig 1 shows the key elements of the recommended framework:

Natural Resistance to Change

It all starts with a clear vison. Without that, any journey is bound to fail. Vision should be backed by hard data—a business case that justifies the investments to EMR and its implementation.

Different groups and roles in health and social care organisations have different ideas, assumptions and drivers in change programs. It’s important to understand who these different stakeholder groups are, what frightens them, and what drives them. Based on this analysis, focused change enablement activities can be performed. To be continued...

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