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Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Many of us have heard this old British Army saying, and it is still as relevant today.  Now more than ever, Healthcare Systems in all care venues are in some phase of implementation. Proper Planning and Communication are the cornerstones that can make or break any EHR implementation. Determining the scope of work, costs, resources, and stakeholder commitment are crucial. A continuous communication stream to all levels of the organization is necessary.


Where do you start? With an experienced Project Manager.  A seasoned Project Manager is one who has the experience to draw upon and has a vast network of colleagues supporting him or her. The experienced Project Manager will help your organization with proper planning as well as document the necessary components to capture your project’s history. An experienced PM must continually evaluate tasks and resources to avoid delays and ready the teams for the next task or phase.

After the charter and scope of the project are sufficiently outlined, a small team of key executives, assisted by the Project Manager, will determine and record the resources required to accomplish the tasks needed to reach the implementation goals as outlined in the project charter and scope document. Resources and the timeline for the tasks are then gathered. A solid communication strategy is needed to communicate the project’s progress as well as distribute notifications for upcoming events. The project must continuously be monitored, and progress reported to the executive team and all stakeholders. Communication should include significant milestones met, risks, changes in scope, and a summary of the upcoming tasks or events.  A key factor in the communication strategy is to reach all affected team members promptly – allowing enough time for downstream management teams to adjust and plan for the effects of the project on their individual teams. An example of this would be communication of training classes well in advance of scheduling for the department’s staff so proper coverage may be maintained while the staff is away in classes.

As you move toward project completion and the launch or “Go Live” of your new application(s), excitement, and anxiety, will naturally build.  This is the time to leverage your executive team and rally the troops to push toward the end goal. You will reap the successful implementation that began with the Proper Plan that Prevented Poor Performance.

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