On EMR and HIPAA I did a post about healthcare IT Projects you can implement today. The basic concept is that you can work on other IT projects if you’re not quite ready to implement an EMR (for example if you’re waiting to learn more about the EMR stimulus money). Dan Draper stopped by and left an additional comment about an additional side benefit of doing an IT project before implementing an EMR (emphasis added):
Besides the direct benefit these projects deliver, taking baby steps with technology will make a big implementation easier. In these small IT implementations, I would recommend clinics and offices take the opportunity to evaluate IT integrators, network engineers and value-added resellers.
Which ones are easy to work with?
Who can implement the system?
Who can sell the equipment?
Who is going to support it?
Use these small projects to find out which IT reseller really understands the challenge of healthcare (critical data/no on-site IT support) and won’t leave a doctor or administrator with a hot closet, a mess of cables or an infrastructure that won’t easily expand. Use this opportunity to ask the integrator or reseller what the IT costs and scope would be for that future (eventual) EMR implementation.
Very fine points. If you don’t think your relationship with your IT support help is important, you’re in real trouble during an EMR implementation. Done right, you won’t really notice they’re there. Done wrong, and let the finger pointing begin.