Creating a Leadership Team for Successful EHR Implementation

Description & Instructions

This resource is intended to aid providers and health IT implementers in identifying a leadership team for a successful EHR implementation.  Selecting the right people for an EHR implementation team is a critical step in a successful implementation. In general, members of the team should be enthusiastic, well-respected and forward thinking. Team members should bring differing perspectives on how the EHR will be used and provide a wide array of skills and knowledge. The size of a practice will determine the size of the implementation team. For smaller practices, one person may be managing several of the areas of responsibility included. 

This resource includes a template to document the leadership team; fill in the template as it is relevant to the practice.

1. EHR Leadership Team

The EHR leadership team, also known as the steering committee, can literally make or break the implementation process. “Must” attributes of this team include:

1.1 Instructions

Depending on the size and type of facility, the leadership team consists of three or more members from a cross-section of backgrounds and departments. Use the template below to document the leadership team for your EHR implementation:

Exhibit 1 EHR Leadership Team

MemberRoleNameTelephoneEmail
EHR Team LeadThe EHR Team Lead has the responsibility to make final decisions regarding the implementation plan
EHR Implementation ManagerThe EHR Implementation Manager is responsible for keeping the project moving. In most implementations, there is a vendor counterpart to this position. The project manager is responsible for monitoring the work plan to ensure that the project is on schedule; maintaining a list of vendor and practice issues that need to be resolved; scheduling implementation-related events, such as hardware deliveries and live dates; and delegating tasks to the other members of the implementation team. In a small practice setting, the project manager is usually responsible for communicating updates to the rest of the practice. The practice manager often takes on this role.
Physician ChampionAn EHR implementation should not begin without a physician champion. The role of the physician champion is to act as a liaison between the physicians in the group and the implementation team. The physician champion acts as a point of reference for how things are done from a clinical perspective and how physicians need the EHR application to function. The physician champion is responsible for keeping the physicians up to date on the progress of the EHR and for maintaining physician “buy-in” to the project.
Nurse LeadThe Nurse Lead plays a central role on the team and with fellow nurses; he or she should be a respected thought leader who understands clinical workflows, can inspire nursing staff to embrace change, and drives consensus among nursing staff.
MA LeadThe Medical Assistant Lead plays a central role on the team and with medical assistants; he or she should understand medical assistant workflows, inspire medical assistant staff to embrace change, and drive consensus among medical assistants.
Scheduler LeadThe Scheduler Lead plays a central role on the team and with other scheduling assistants; he or she should understand scheduling workflows, inspire Scheduling staff to embrace change, and drives consensus among scheduling staff.
Registration Staff LeadThe Registration Lead plays a central role on the team and with other registration assistants; he or she should understand registration workflows, inspire registration staff to embrace change, and drive consensus among registration staff.
Lab staff LeadThe Lab Lead plays a central role on the team and with other laboratory staff; he or she should understand lab workflows, inspire lab staff to embrace change, and drive consensus among lab staff.
Information Technology LeadThe Information Technology Lead is responsible for deployment and operation of the software and hardware (e.g., workstations, wireless tablets, printers and scanners). This is the go to person for people who have questions about the operation of the software and hardware.
Billing LeadThe Billing Lead plays a central role on the team and with other billing staff; he or she should understand billing workflows, inspire billing staff to embrace change, and drive consensus among billing staff.
EHR BuilderThe EHR Builder is responsible for building and customizing any EHR application areas such as templates, drop-down boxes and pick lists. This person will know more about how the EHR functions than any other person in the practice. This person may also have regular communication with the EHR vendor and may be involved in training of new staff in how to use the EHR.
Meaningful Use LeadThe Meaningful Use Lead is responsible for training staff in how to use the EHR to successfully achieve meaningful use.
Workflow Redesign LeadThe Workflow Redesign Lead is responsible for training staff in how to assess current workflows and how to redesign workflows with EHR implementation.
Super-User LeadThe Super-User Lead is responsible for drafting a description of Super-User responsibilities and working with various other leadership team leads to recruit and train Super-Users.  A Super-User is a regular staff member who learns the system prior to implementation so that they can expedite IT support and provide problem-solving at the point of need to other staff members during implementation. 

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