Epic managers, consultants and trainers share 10 tips for a successful go-live

Epic installations require months of prep work before a go-live, and even with plenty of training hours, organizations can still face unforeseen challenges during and after the implementation, according to a blog post by Arron Fu on uniprint.net.

For the blog post, Mr. Fu, the chief technology officer  of uniprint.net, gathered 10 best practices from Epic experts — including project managers, credentialed trainers and support analysts — based on their past experiences for successful go-lives. Here is what those experts had to say.

1. Client hospitals must prioritize the items most critical for the go-live before tweaking any part of the software. They should also ensure their staff is on board with the install by selecting clinical leaders, as well as developing a strong communication plan, bringing on additional support staff and celebrating the small wins.

2. Organizations should employ a support system comprised of healthcare IT professionals with strong clinical knowledge.

3. It is important to engage all behind-the-scenes stakeholders — like finance and coding experts — when developing front end users' workflows.

4. The project planning phase should describe each step of the project in as much detail as possible.

5. Hospitals should transfer all relevant data from the old system to the new one and archive the rest to avoid paying for two separate systems and running over budget.

6. Although staff should be thoroughly trained on their specific job functions in the new EHR prior to the go-live, hosting regular feedback sessions to identify and resolve any issues post-implementation is crucial for end-user satisfaction.

7. Organizations should schedule times for its workflow experts to collaborate with the vendor to customize the EHR before the go-live. Then, project leaders can give staff clear and specific instructions on how to complete their tasks. When customizing the EHR, organizations should consider simplifying their end users' experiences in the system by limiting opportunities for free text.

8. To reduce some of the stress commonly associated with a go-live, organizations should be as transparent as possible regarding the project's progression as a way of empowering end users and other hospital staff.

9. Organizations should devote adequate resources and logistics when training their staff, which could include running through patient scenarios that mimic real-life.

10. Sticking to the project's timeline is critical to meet its deadline, but it is OK to accept certain aspects may not be fully complete or correct when the go-live date arrives; those issues can be corrected after the launch.

Click here to read the full blog post.

More articles on EHRs:
Columbus Regional Healthcare System to implement Cerner's EHR
Allscripts completes acquisition of patient engagement firm HealthGrid
An Epic day in court: Supreme Court rules in favor of Epic, upholds workplace arbitration contracts

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