Why additional money is not needed to solve your EHR problems

Have you ever done any sort of group problem solving exercise like Outward Bound to help you to think as a team? Suppose there was an exercise for healthcare and IT executives, whose goal was to get the executives to think about how to best deploy can EHR system. To do this they are given a problem and access to ‘technology.’

Here is the scenario and the rules as they are presented to the group. They are given ten dollars. The executives are presented with a bathtub filled with water, and told that the winning team will figure out the best use of money and time to empty the bathtub. Also available to them is a bucket which costs ten dollars and has a hole in it, a four-dollar cup, and a collection of wooden spoons which are free.

Any idea what the right combination is? Is there a best answer? Bucket? Cup and spoons? How would you solve the problem? Sometimes the best answer is so obvious it’s silly. Kind of like call centers? What’s the best use of the available tools? Faced with the option of buying more technology to solve the problem, when was the last time you saw someone refuse the funds?

Figured it out?

Pull the plug from the drain.

In many cases, we already have everything we need to solve the problem, we just need to know how to use it.

Just like Dorothy in the ‘Wizard of Oz.’  She had the ruby slippers the entire time, she just didn’t know how to use them. I think most EHR strategies can be improved without spending requiring millions more in technology.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


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