Learning About Your IT Support Before an EMR Implementation

Posted on December 7, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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.