Why an Operational Approach Beats an IT-Centric Approach for an Epic EHR Implementation

In the ever-evolving world of healthcare’s technological advancements, hospitals and health systems face the critical decision of how to implement new technologies, particularly their Epic electronic health record (EHR). Traditionally, IT departments have been at the forefront of such initiatives, and while they still play a key role, things have changed.

Today’s consensus among healthcare leaders is that EHR implementations should be operationally led rather than IT led. This shift reflects the need for a more holistic approach, aligning innovation with larger organizational goals. This makes sense considering Epic’s impact on care coordination, patient experience, clinician satisfaction, and more.

Here are five reasons why an operational approach is imperative for a successful Epic implementation:

1. It aligns with a healthcare organization’s business goals.

Operationally-led implementations prioritize the alignment of technology solutions with the strategic goals of the organization. While IT departments excel in managing infrastructure and technical aspects, operational leaders bring a nuanced understanding of how technology impacts day-to-day business operations, particularly patient care. This alignment ensures that technological investments contribute directly to goals around patient outcomes.

2. It keeps clinicians and other end users top of mind.

An Epic implementation ultimately affects end users. Operational leaders, with their emphasis on the processes of the business, are better positioned to empathize with user needs and pain points. By incorporating user feedback, organizations can focus on interoperability with other technologies, streamline clinical workflows, enhance user adoption, and ensure long-term success.

3. It promotes cross-functional collaboration.

Successful implementation requires collaboration across various departments, including IT, operations, finance, marketing, and more. Operational leaders are well-suited to facilitate this cross-functional collaboration, as they better understand the interconnected nature of different business functions. This collaborative approach helps foster greater buy-in.

4. It allows for a better change management plan.

Epic implementations can introduce a level of disruption. Operational leaders are capable of managing change associated with the adoption of new technologies. They can create comprehensive change management plans, ensuring that employees are prepared for the transition, are supported once live, and that potential challenges are proactively addressed. This approach also reduces the likelihood of project delays and budget issues.

5. It ensures a more complete view of the future.

A diverse group of leaders can thoroughly assess the broad impact of technology on business operations, including its implications for patient experience, flexibility, and long-term sustainability. This complete view sees that technology is implemented not just for the sake of “innovation,” but also for the sake of organizational growth and patient care far into the future.

Here at Medix, we’ve consulted many notable healthcare organizations on their Epic implementations, often prompting the vital shift from implementations being technologically led to organizationally led. Today, we’re one of the most trusted implementation partners, from early strategic planning to go-live, and for every step in between.

For 20+ years, we’ve earned a 92% KLAS performance score, largely because of the proven benefits we offer our implementation clients, including:

  • Improved clinical performance and satisfaction
  • Added resource flexibility during and after implementation
  • Reduced total cost of ownership

Implementation is the number one factor which affects long-term EHR adoption and success. No step can be taken lightly, and it helps to have experience and expertise on your side. Consider partnering with an advisor and staffing partner like Medix to help you stay on track, on budget, and on the path to technological transformation.

For more on why an operational approach beats an IT-centric approach, tune in to our on-demand webinar, “Shift Your Epic EHR Implementation from an IT-Led Project to an Operationally-Led Project and Obtain Complete Buy-In,” presented by our resident implementation experts.

The webinar is part of our jam-packed Digital Healthcare Technology Virtual Summit, which you can attend here.

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