training for a new computer systems enhances implementation a discussion post

Training for a new Computer Systems Enhances Implementation

Many health systems have been upgrading to new computer systems. If you have ever experienced this kind of change, you will know that it is quite a complex process with many opportunities to derail the project.

Several years ago, a local health system implemented a computer upgrade to a new electronic medical record (EMR) system. Management and administration had been preparing for this upgrade for several years. The administration allocated the necessary resources to make the implementation a success not only financially but also in terms of increasing information technology (IT) staff and training of “superusers” or champions. These “superusers” were from within the organization and from every level of the organization and were given extensive training well ahead of other users.

In preparation for this change, management spent time and resources educating those working within the organization about the importance of this upgrade in achieving the mission of the organization by increasing connectivity use compliance (innovations-value fit). This pre-education enhanced the implementation climate by helping the intended users understand that the transition to an upgrade EMR was an organizational priority, thereby enhancing the implementation effectiveness. Over several months (nursing staff, providers, managers, front desk workers, and coding and billing personnel) were trained in preparation for the change. Target dates for the change were set, and clinic schedule were reduced to allow time for using the new system (another example of management support).

Although it was a bumpy ride, the upgrade to the new computer system, as well as the implementation effectiveness, was very successful. Others may argue that the innovation effectiveness (the benefit of the new computer system to the organization and ease of use) is not quite so apparent.

Discussion Points

  • Who are the champions in your organization? What qualifies them to be champions or which qualities do they possess?
  • When your organization has been implemented a major change, did it have the benefit of strong implementation climate? Which steps did the organization take to ensure successful implementation effectiveness? What could it have changed to improve the climate and effectiveness?
  • How did your organization determine the success of the implementation of the new policy or innovation? Which measure were evaluated? Should the organization have reexamined the implementation or made the decision to change course? Why or why not?

Answer Discussion Points 1-3 in 300 words or less. Please include at least one reference (peer reviewed article, national policy website, ANA, etc) .

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