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Implementing a new Cerner EHR can be a daunting task. There are so many big things to think of, that organizations can miss smaller or subtler things. These workflows and processes are done every day, and so common that people take them for granted. Missing these things can lead to massive re-work of application build during either application testing, or worse – Go-Live when the system build does not match what the end-users actually do. Your organization can avoid the potential result of a decrease in patient care, end-user dissatisfaction, and loss of revenue by making sure you address the following three things:

Current State Processes and Workarounds

Often times there are many processes or workarounds to complete a process to care for a patient.  It is common for staff working on the same unit to not be aware that of all the things being done to complete a task. It can sometimes take hours to get through each task when SMEs get into a room to discuss Current State Processes

It is vital to discuss and document current Roles and Responsibilities of each role within the patient care team. Clarify what you actually do today, not just what the supervisor thinks each role does. It is important to document each role and its related workflows. Role and workflow documentation helps to prevent missing a process when making the future state within the new EHR.

Here are some commonly missed processes/workarounds:

  • Handwritten Physician Consults
  • Admissions processes
  • Nursing Treatment Orders

Capturing and incorporating these processes in your new Cerner EHR can streamline your workflows and make them more efficient. Communication between caregivers becomes more efficient and clear, as well.

Reporting Requirements

Remember to review and capture all Reports including those going to downstream systems. Think about what is being sent to the state for reporting requirements, so that those are captured in the future EHR.   This includes both state and financial reporting requirements.

Make certain there is an inventory of all reports, including who gets the report, how, and why it is used. Review this Report inventory with your team to determine if the information is needed for the future. Often, and physical copies are no longer needed, if information previously printed for convenience is viewable online.


Supply Chain Requirements

When organizations are not clear on location-specific Supply Chain Requirements and Processes, charges can be lost. This usually happens because a process or procedure did not account for a task or actual supplies.

Process size does not necessarily equate to level of importance. No process is too small to be captured and documented. Often-times we think of only the big-ticket processes, and forget some of the small, seemingly insignificant processes. Even small processes and procedures can affect your bottom line and even patient care.

Other unit or location responsibilities that should be documented include Supply Chain requirements, and miscellaneous charges, like:

  • Suture removal kits
  • Dressings
  • Respiratory/albuterol/saline

If small supplies like these aren’t accounted for and charged back to the patient, it could throw off the count of supplies, and affect replenishment.  Units are less able to plan for replenishment and efficient use of supplies.  A small kit, dressing, or saline packet is a small cost, but they can add up over the course of each day.  Making sure to capture them in your new Cerner EHR can immediately help your bottom line.

Ultimately, you are implementing a Cerner EHR to improve the care you provide to your patients.  Get clear on current state processes, know your reporting requirements, and track Supply Chain requirements. Doing these three things helps to ensure your organization can maintain or improve patient care, ensure end-user satisfaction, and improve revenue.

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Jeanene Genusa

Vice President and Implementation Executive LinkedIn

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