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Getting Ready for the Meaningful Use EHR - Capture Current Workflow and Baselines

Posted Dec 27 2009 10:44am

With a new year just around the corner, let's start off by digging in a bit deeper. Managing the transformation to workflow is what makes or breaks an EHR is a critical success factor for EHR Implementations. As you get ready to move forward with the EHR implementation, let's make sure we understand what is needed to transform from the paper world to the digital.

First it is key to understand that even in the same facility, don't assume workflow is identical across all services. When you dig into the details, the workflow changes by physician, departmental service, time of day, or facility, the key is to capture the current workflow and assure there is a measurable baseline to your current state.

Steps to help capture current workflow

  1. Identify Stakeholders - In Healthcare, we are really interwoven for a workflow perspective. Take some time and identify all those who are impacted by the current workflows. There will be the old faithful of physicians, nurses, pharmacists. However also consider corporate compliance, quality management, the revenue cycle departments.
  2. Have a Structured Team Interview - A structure interview is a one on one to identify individual tasks performed by each stakeholder. This is normally successfully done in a team review with the stakeholders./li>
  3. Observe the process - It is also important to observe the participants in their daily worklife. Observation will ferret out when the desired is not the actual, so have the process from the team interview with you to note any discrepancies.
  4. Get copies of the paper forms and tag them to a step - As we have built up our paper processes over the years, there are a lot of forms in existence. Work with the team to get a copy of the paper form, have these forms denoted in the current process.
  5. Get copies of the policies and procedures in place - Another item to get a copy of is the existing policy and proc.edure. Document the tie in points in the overall workflow.
  6. Obtain a copy of the management and control reports - Often control reports or management reports are put in place to monitor process, have a look at the report and get an understanding of how the data is collected. This will offer your baseline of current state
  7. Present the findings to the stakeholders - The final step is to present the documented workflow to the team and ask for validation. It is important to walk the workflow together at least once so all can verify this is the current state.

Key TakeAway

A couple of key takeaways, it is important to get the team focused on the similarities, not the exceptions. Have a parking lot for the exceptions and address them after you have captured the similarities. Also remember to keep the door open for the new world, you are investing in a change so things will not be staying the same.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like other entries in our Getting Ready for the Meaningful Use EHR Series:

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