Four Crucial Members of an EHR Implementation Team
When undertaking an EHR system change, there are many considerations to take into account. While most system implementations may require a dozen or more highly skilled professionals, here is a short-list of key members that are integral to seeing an implementation through to the end.
1. Project manager
The project manager (PM) is the quarterback of the EHR implementation team. This person should be technically minded and have previous experience in implementing EHR. With many vendors to choose from, it is important for the PM to already have experience working on an EHR system from the same vendor. This is due to the differing platforms and nuances that are unique to each system.
A PM is responsible for the project’s overall success, including hitting requirements and meeting deadlines for the role out of the new EHR system. Additionally, the Project Manager connects the different phases of the project to seamlessly work and communicate together. The planning, design, development, implementation, and testing phases must coordinate their effects to be successful and the PM is the point person in facilitating these processes.
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2. Application analyst
Another critical member of an EHR implementation team is an application analyst. This person is essentially responsible for connecting the ideas and concepts that the facility wants in place with the development team. By gathering EHR requirements from internal IT teams, department leads, executives, and end-users, the application analyst will take this information and put it into technical form for the developers to take into a design stage.
Often, an application analyst will have a clinical background as either a registered nurse or a pharmacist. This is extremely helpful as analysts need to understand the day-to-day clinical needs of each application.
3. Application developer
Once the requirements are formed to customize the EHR system, the application developer is tasked with the development portion of the project. This includes designing and implementing applications for specific departments as requested. For example, some EHR systems have applications specific to the Emergency Department, Inpatient Pharmacy, Radiology, Operating Room, Anesthesia, ICU, Nurse Triage, and several other departments.
This allows each departmental function to be customized by the developer to be more effective for the facility’s end-users. This can include specific field information, dashboards, or other user interfaces that have been outlined by the Application Analyst.
4. Quality assurance test engineer
After the Application developer has completed the EHR system installations, the testing phase can begin. At this stage, a quality assurance test engineer with expertise in the particular EHR system deployed will be required to come in and test the system from various viewpoints.
Much like the application analyst, a QA test engineer is often required to have a clinical background. Their expertise in hands-on clinical roles provides the knowledge of how daily operations work in a hospital setting. Testing and quality reviews can be performed for data security, proper functionality for each clinical department, performance review, and to verify the system can handle the total volume of users.
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