Rolling out EMR? The #1 thing you must NOT do.

Successful implementations of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) involve a balance of people, processes, and technology. But all too often technology takes center stage – “Will we use PDAs or phones? The latest i-gizmo? Laptops?” Being tempted by the tinsel of technology is a terrible trap.

Technology is understandably hot with 2014 on the horizon.

“By 2014, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will shop around and award business to providers with the best outcomes related to quality, costs, and hospital readmission rates,” offers Dr. Kathleen Griffin, PhD, national director, post-acute and senior services for Health Dimensions Group. Positive outcomes will be a provider’s competitive advantage and lifeline to revenues as ACOs will control bundled payments. Prove your outcomes beat your competitors – and you’ll win loyalty of an ACO. Reports driven by clinical EMRs will be your strategic sales tool of the 21st century. So the rush is on.

However, before you jump into a technology solution, consider that the most successful providers put people and process first. If you’re like many, your staff runs the gamut of those who prefer texting over talking…to those who have never touched a mouse before (and wouldn’t dare admit it). As a result, it’s critically important to first look at how people work, optimize the way they should work (this may take several tries, that’s OK!), and then automate, in that order. Otherwise you are stuck with inefficient automation of manual processes. And once you have them, they’re expensive and disruptive to fix.

Need more meat for your 2014 strategic roadmap? Here is a white paper The Countdown to EHR and Outcome-Based Care. You’ll get five critical things you must include in your technology strategy.