Patient Experience: Not understanding UX and UI is killing Patient Experience

UI and UX seem to be two terms that have yet to make their way into healthcare. One way I like to think of the application of design thinking in hospitals is to compare the hospital’s lobby to its website.

Millions were spent to make the lobby user friendly, to create a remarkable first impression.  There is a receptionist and maybe a sign or two pointing to the ER or the Lab.

The website is a different matter–as is the call center.  The website’s homepage offers the ‘kitchen-sink’ to visitors, patients and prospective patients. Dozens of links, Flash, every phone number you may ever need.  Users can learn about the board and make a donation. They can do everything except find the link they wanted. 

Ninety-nine percent of visitors are either patients, people trying to decide if they are going to seek a second opinion–from some hospital other than yours, or prospective patients trying to make a healthcare purchase decision. The average person spends seven seconds on a web page looking for what they want.

What that tells me is the average person is leaving the average hospital’s website unsatisfied and with a poor experience. Why is nobody interested in improving that experience?

Patient Acquisition: Inverting the Sales Funnel

The link below is to a presentation of mine on Slideshare about patient acquisition; how it is done and my thoughts on how it ought to be done.  In today’s world most hospitals spend a lot of money chasing people.  However, the people they are chasing are researching from which hospital they will purchase services.

If you know the cost to acquire a patient the traditional way please let me know.  The cost to  have a patient choose your facility is almost zero.

How to acquire patients on http://www.slideshare.net/paulroemer/how-to-acquire-patients-21677042

Please let me know what you think

 

 

Patient Experience Management–Manufacturing Consent

Manufacturing Consent

Foxnews reports “Russian police say they have discovered the body of a local politician reported missing last week, in a barrel of cement in a garage near Moscow. Another politician has been accused of ordering the murder, over an $80 million debt.”  So, we’ve got that going for us.

This weekend I caught a bit of NPR’s “Wait, wait don’t tell me.”  One of the guests was Al Gore.  Oscar winner, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, a Tony, and an Emmy. The host neglected to point out that Mr. Gore, former vice president of the United States and Internet founder is standing in line to cash a check for one hundred million dollars from Al Qaeda’s (Al Jazeera’s)—you say potato I say potahto.  I know I promised not to cross the line, but that is why you read this and not some missive from the CMS.

What does it mean if when you Google a topic all of the hits to that topic link to you?  It may not mean much if the topic you Googled is “sliding revolving doors.”  But what if the topic has slightly more potiential.

I Googled—v. past tense of Google—the term “Family Experience Management” and every returned URL is to something about which I wrote.  Just so you know, the groundswell begins today.

Perhaps before we get too carried away we should define Family Experience Management (FEM).  FEM is the set of interactions a “family” of a patient has regarding a family member’s interaction with various components of the healthcare system; providers, payors, pharmacies, Medicare.  It is the superset of interactions for patient experience management (PEM).

Most PEM efforts I have studied are like shutting the barn door after the horses get out.  I happen to think there is much greater value in stopping the processes that have led the way to opening the barn door in the first place.

There is reality and there is perception, and with regard to PEM, rarely the two shall meet.  Some things are just true, perception be damned.  That is why what is right should always supplant who is right.  That a majority of people within any given organization have the objectivity of an insider is why the top two prevailing business rules are ‘we can’t do that’ and ‘that will not work.’

A little dissent can be a healthy thing.  Or not. 

One of my favorite axioms is ‘You don’t ask directions from somebody who has never been where you’re going.’

I am a fan of a good adage, so let us try this one on for size.  A hospital executive falls into a hole—the ‘w’ is silent.  Someone from CMS walks by and the man in the hole hollers, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get out.”  The CMS acolyte tosses down a check, and the man replies, “What is this?”

“That’s some of the ARRA Meaningful Use Lottery. We’ve got tons of it that nobody is going to collect.

An hour later a seven sigma guru passes by.  The man in the hole hollers, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get out.”  Seven Sigma man tosses him a set of workflows and a stop watch and departs.

Days later a consultant happens along.  Recognizing the man’s plight the consultant hops into the hole.

“Why did you do that?” Queries the man.  “Now we are both stuck.”

“No worries,” says the consultant.  “I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”

Sometimes, perhaps way too often, we get trapped by our own thinking.  By the misguided belief that we already know the correct solution, or we know that the one being proposed will never work.  This is like having my son telling me he does not like broccoli even though he has never tried broccoli. 

We get caught up in the notion that we already have a vision of how we want the world to be and we are willing to do anything to make the world conform to our vision.  We limit ourselves to the possible, to what has already been done.  If however, we limit ourselves to the possible, how does progress happen?

We need to be saved from the shortsighted politicalization of our own intelligence; progresses’ Catch-22.  Once everyone thinks they are thinking out-of-the-box, are they really, or have they simply moved the box.  Sometimes it is best to be the person advocating for coloring outside of the lines.

Patient Experience Management can benefit greatly if only a handful of people began to color outside of the lines.  This link is to a presentation of mine on SlideShare I have given on how to improve patient experience management, something I also call Patient Equity Management. 

You can download it or use a yellow highlighter to help you recall the tasty bits.

I welcome your thoughts, especially learning why you may think I may be all wet.

Thanks Al for making file sharing possible.

 

 

When Patient Experience Management Fails-call the cable guy

(This missive is somewhat long—this is where my mind goes when I run.)

Ever watch the show “This old House”? Something magical happens to a man when he watches somebody single-handedly rebuild a 6,000 year old home in a 30 minute program. After that no task seems too complex. As a normal male the first rule of thumb is to remember that having a master’s degree from a reputable university qualifies you for about anything short of brain surgery. The true Type A will often carry that step further by reminding himself that given another week or two of study that even neurosurgery would not be that difficult.

I did a project in one of my prior homes. It involved the simple task of rearranging bedroom furniture one Sunday afternoon; 15 minute project, total cost—nothing. After all, how difficult could that be? The truth is the actual moving of furniture involved nothing more than I’d planned. Only when I thought I was done did I notice that the television set was now located a good 20 feet away from the cable television outlet. The obvious solution would be to simply move the furniture back to its original position.

Can’t do that. To move the furniture back to the original position is either admitting defeat, or admitting I wasn’t bright enough to realize that the cable outlet and the television would be on opposite ends of the planet by the time I finished. Besides, my wife had already seen the new arrangement and if I moved it back to its original position I would have to explain why.

So when she enters the room and asks why (and she will ask why—that’s her job) there is now a 25 foot piece of black coaxial cable snaking its way diagonally across her bedroom carpeting I had better be prepared to answer. Sometimes if you’re quick, real quick, you can try and bluff your way around the problem with a technical answer. You can try and explain that all of the static electricity that was created by sliding furniture across the carpet has caused the sonic membrane surrounding the fiber optical transponders in the coax to be 6 ohms off the medium allowable temperature variation for the building codes in your neighborhood. It is called stalling, allowing for a brief period of self-correction.

The truth, having failed me, the only other option left was to try something close to the truth. I’m forced to say I knew the cable would be at opposite ends of the room before I moved the furniture. My plan all along was to call the cable company and ask them to come to the house to install another outlet on the correct wall.

It’s my wife’s job to inquire how much it will cost—she did not fail me.  This is a clear case of me answering her question without bothering to think. It is important to have a clear understanding of the underlying issues before trying to resolve the problem. I mentioned it should cost forty dollars, and we will only need to leave the cable strewn across her bedroom floor for a few days. It’s then her job to say if we put the furniture back where it was we can solve both problems in twenty minutes. Besides, the cable technician left a mess the last time they did some work, and she wasn’t going to spend more money for poor service. Stay with me here, this is how it becomes her fault, and how it relates to the topic of Patient Experience Management (PEM).

Once her issues were out in the open was a simple matter to devise a solution to address them.  The solution needed to be implemented quickly and it needed to be free. My answer came quickly—too quickly. Eighty percent of the problem could be handled by simply running the cable along the floor board, and then under the bed. That only left five feet of cable between me and a happy marriage. Unfortunately, the five feet in question is from the foot of the bed to the television and runs across the major walkway of the room, looking all the while like an undernourished blacksnake.  Did I mention she hates snakes?

Undaunted, I asked for a little assistance to move the bed. This accomplished, I headed for the garage to find exactly the proper tools for the proper job. I returned five minutes later, tools in hand. I was surprised to see the look of dismay on her face. As it turns out, her dismay resulted from the razor blade knife clutched in my hand. After twenty minutes of the best Boolean logic I could muster, I convinced her, or at least myself, that it would be a simple matter to cut a small hole in the carpet and force the cable underneath. After all, the bed would hide the hole.

The only other tool I thought I would require was a roll of duct tape and a 4’11″ broom handle.  Women know we are confused about how to proceed the moment they see men rely on the duct tape gene. Most men, when cornered believe enough duct tape, properly applied, can serve as a panacea for anything up to and including world hunger.

You’ll note I specified the exact length of the broom handle. It’s only after having attempted the project that I’m able to relate the length of the handle. Most men on a project, especially those being watched by their wife, wouldn’t bother to measure a length any more than they would ask directions while driving across Borneo with half a tank of gas.

As it turns out, I should’ve measured both the distance the cable had to travel under the carpet and the length of the broom handle prior to taping the cable to the handle and shoving a 4’11″ broom handle under a five-foot expanse of wall-to-wall carpet. The fact the carpeting was wall-to-wall is key to understanding what lay ahead. Let’s make certain the situation is spelled out clearly; the new carpet in our new home had a hole in it, a broom handle was now nicely buried under the carpet, and my wife was perched on top of the bed like one of Macbeth’s three witches waiting to see what I would do next.

Walking to the wall and grasping the carpet as best I could, I pulled up a good 10 feet of it from the tacking, acting all the while like I would have to have done that even had the handle not been one inch too short. Leaning with my one arm on the newly exposed carpet tacks, I solicited help in excising the handle from beneath the rug. That accomplished, and dying the death of a thousand cuts, I looked for another proper tool to complete the task. Walking through the kitchen to the garage I spent a moment wondering if the proper tool could be found in the kitchen. Naturally, it was—one half of a pair of chopsticks or, as it’s now referred to in technical terms, a broom handle extender.

Five minutes later, the broom handle extender and cable was firmly duct taped to the broom handle and once again shoved under the carpet. They both went in, but no cable came out the other side. So, I pulled the handle back out and surveyed the situation. The situation, as it turns out, was that in my hand was a perfectly good broom handle, a piece of coaxial cable, and no broom handle extender. The extender was now smack dab in the middle of the 5 foot expanse I was trying to cross, the problem being it was on the wrong side of the carpet, the underneath side. It was positioned perfectly. It was too far under to be reached from either end. In other words, the chop stick just became a permanent fixture in our bedroom.

Certainly, one small chopstick hidden beneath four hundred square feet of carpeting was not a big problem to me. It was not a problem unless you happen to be walking barefoot across the carpet and you happen not to be the one who put it there.  It became not unlike the fable The Princes and the Pea, and my princes found it immediately. In the fable, it was the princes could not sleep. In my case, I knew the non-sleeper in the story would be me for as long as the chopstick remained under the carpet.  Keeping my eyes focused firmly on the task at hand, I foolishly believed if I could resolve the cable problem, the matter of the chopstick would resolve itself.

One final trip to the garage led me to return with a second broom handle. The peanut gallery looked on in disbelief in my ability to finish what I had started without having to sell the house at a loss before I was through. The “I told you so’s” were being thought through in most of the major dialects of the Western Hemisphere.

This had ceased to be a project—it was now a quest, no lesser than that of the Holy Grail. A mile of duct tape later, both broom handles were firmly attached to one another. Even if I destroyed every square foot of carpeting in the house, I would not lose this broom handle under the carpet.  A minute later the cable emerged exactly where it should have, on the other side of the room.  I pulled the out broom handle, attached the cable and turned on the television. Everything worked, just as I had known it would.

Standing in front of the television, admiring my work in the new room arrangement, I noticed I was now a good foot taller than when I began the project. Was this an illusion brought about by my success?  As was quickly pointed out by my princess, my enhanced stature was more attributable to the fact that all of the carpet padding that used to lie between the end of the bed and the wall was now nicely compacted into a ball.  The ball of padding was located in the same twilight zone the chopstick found, right in the middle of the walkway. Trying to correct the problem only made it worse. Each time I prodded the ball of padding with the broom handle it grew larger underfoot. Within minutes it looked as though I had managed to suck up every inch of padding from every room in the house and placed it between my wife and a good night’s sleep. Resorting to logic once again, I quickly pointed out that she should walk on it because she would no longer be bothered by feeling the chopstick underfoot.

The next day I was on the phone scheduling an appointment with the carpet installation service. The carpet installer had to pull up most of the carpeting in the bedroom to be able to reach what she had affectionately labeled Chopstick Hill. I watched him work and I learned all about carpet padding and the installation of hardwood floors. He explained it was lucky for me that he came over because our padding was not good quality padding and we would not have known that had he not pulled up the carpet. I asked him why, if we would not have known about the padding, we would want to spend $300 for new padding. Without responding, he just kept slamming his knee in the carpet installer, charging one hundred dollars for his efforts and my education.

I was so impressed with his discussion of hardwood floors I almost bought one on the spot to surprise my wife. By now, we both know she wouldn’t have appreciated the surprise. Anybody who did not want to spend forty dollars on the cable repairman would probably have a little more trouble accepting five thousand dollars for a new floor.

However, I walked around with a silent smirk on my face for days knowing had we done it my way from the start, called the cable man, we could’ve saved the hundred dollars and never put a hole in the carpet.

This is what can happen when your patients decide to bypass your customer service because of prior bad experiences they have had trying to solve a problem.  It usually comes down to process, bad process.  Processes are a lot easier to fix than disappointed patients.

 

Is the term “Payor” healthcare’s oxymoron?

One of the great things about fall is that as I prune back the vestiges of my virtual garden I am able to collect basketful upon basketful of overly ripe metaphorical tomatoes, perfect for tossing at aberrant analogies and inappropriate idioms.

It’s a curious time.  We give away money to the middle class and rich so they can upgrade their BMWs on the backs of the poor.  The feds market that idea as though that pittance will either jump start the economy, or to hide the fact that that the administration has managed to budget for a nine trillion dollar deficit gap over ten years.

By now we know there are no quick fixes, no magic formulas for fixing the economy.  Finding a formula that works will be more difficult than learning how to neatly fold a fitted bed sheet.

“Is it the essential paradox of the age of Obama that we have to destroy the village in order to save it, bust the budget in hopes someday we’ll balance it?” Nancy Gibbs, Time, September 9, 2009.

“It takes an idiot to raze a village.” Paul Roemer, today.

Congress is trying to decide what the final bill will look like without ever having read the first draft.  How will we know when they have something that makes sense?  Do we watch the Congressional chimney to see if the smoke is white or black?  Does that mean we have a bill, or is it simply that the chef burnt the Peking Duck?

Then there are the payors.  Get me started, or don’t.  We all know that one of the driving factors for reform is the behavior of the payors.  A friend asks—for full disclosure I note that she is one of “them”—why do people view health insurers differently from auto, life, or home owners insurance.  She was serious.

Here’s my take on the answer.  If the health insurance firms provided life insurance they’d be exhuming the deceased and trying to prove they weren’t dead.  Car smashed, get a check.  House leaks, get a check.  Die, get a check.  Need surgery.  Not so fast.  Let’s see if you’re covered for that.  If not, whew.  If yes, let our doctors decide if you really need the surgery.  It won’t cost you a minute of your time as our doctors don’t even need to examine you.  You see how this plays out?

It happened to me after my heart attack, albeit with my disability payor, sort of the evil step sister of the health side.  My doctor put me on six months disability, naturally, the payor declined to pay.  There doctor, who never examined me decided I was fine, at least that’s what their letter stated.  How do we know these doctors even exist?  Have they ever been seen in the daylight?

Most Americans don’t believe that insurance companies are interested in helping people.  They like us fine when people are payors.  They are much less fond of us when people become patients.  It’s a simple matter of flow theory.  As long as the flow of cash is in-bound, all is well.  When people move to the dark side, from payors to patients, payors have no patience.

Is there anyone who believes that there is a single payor in the country whose mission statement says anything about doing all we can to help those who need us?  Of course not.  Payors have claims adjusters.  What is their role?  It’s certainly not to adjust the payment higher.

Do payors incent their employees to pay out as little as possible?  I believe they do.  Do payors penalize or retrain people who pay out too much?  I believe they do.  Do they design the claims and dispute process so as to make it so cumbersome on patients and doctors that parties give up prior to settling?  I believe they do.

I believe the payor business model is not much different from that of tobacco companies.  For years tobacco firms claimed there was no public evidence to support the fact that nicotine was addictive.  It turns out they buried the evidence.  Payors claim they are not bad actors.  Some claim the moon landing was faked.

I am a firm believer that pictures can sometimes convey more than mere words.  To me, this link explains a lot about what’s wrong with healthcare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Forzj5-O0 Start playing at 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

Expert: Providers must make IT investments on their own, have new implementation strategies

Here is the link to an article in HealthcareITNews that quotes a few of the things we have been discussing on this site.

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/expert-providers-must-make-it-investments-their-own-have-new-implementation-strategies

EHR: Got a few minutes?

Before we get started…I am on the plane yesterday, sitting in a middle seat.  An attractive woman fights her way down the aisle and sits next to me.  Five minutes later it happens again.  I felt like I had just won the USAir lottery.  The man who sits directly in front of me looks like the Taliban’s Mullah Omar, including the black turban.  Across the aisle is a screaming four-year-old.  For a second, I thought about executing a Jet-Blue exit strategy and deploying the emergency exit slide.

At a business dinner last night, we got into a conversation about driving habits.  The young woman across from me was explaining an incident for which she was pulled over for driving 94 miles an hour in her convertible Mercedes.  When the police officer asked her why she was driving so fast she told the officer she was trying to dry her hair.

Let’s roll back a few hours.  Got the time?

I am sitting at the airport holding my two two-dollar bottles of water scanning my options from among the array of shops.  Fast food.  The guy sitting across from me looked like he was eating Jell-O made from kelp.

Sundries.   Clothing, MSNBC—when did they get into retail?  Shoes, laptop devices, every possible cell phone accessory.  A nifty collection of watches at some kiosk.

A few years back I bought a Polar watch to help me track my running.  It measures heart rate, altitude, temperature, distance, rate, laps, and tracks and calculates my average pace.  What do I use it for when I run—the time—never took the time to learn how to use the other functions?

I also have a few antique watches—the kind you have to wind.  The only thing they do is keep time.  Then there is my Tag Heuer—a name I am not able to pronounce.  It is waterproof down to 300 meters.  I quit diving four years before I even found the watch—but it seems to work well in the shower.  It appears to have more Jewels in the back than the crown of a dictator from a third-world country.

The next time you are in a meeting, or sitting across from someone, look at their watch and see if you can read the time.  You may be able to estimate how much they paid for it by how much exposure it has on their wrist.  Some watches look like they have enough gadgetry to have been a prop in a Bond movie.  Altimeter, lunar phases, time zones in countries to which they have never traveled.  The face of the watch is so decked-out with features and functions that have nothing to do with keeping time that you may as well settle for knowing the moon is waxing.

My Polar watch is an allegory for EHRs that are failing and underperforming.  Lots of features, very little utility.  EHR implementations that do well seem to be those designed to go shallow on functionality and cut a wide swath utility.  Those that go deep into the functionality and narrow on utility are gathering dust.

Is there any good news?  Sure—when you turn on the computer monitor, you’ll notice a little digital clock in the lower right corner.  You may have wasted $200 million on the EHR, but you’ll always know the right time.

Kind Regards,

Paul

Paul M. Roemer
Managing Partner, Healthcare IT Strategy

1475 Luna Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335
+1 (484) 885-6942
paulroemer@healthcareitstrategy.com

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Contact me: Google Talk/paulroemer Skype/paulroemer Google Wave/paulroemer

EHR: What’s in it for me?

Field of Dreams.  Best guy movie of all times?  Forgive me, but I don’t usually start my day being PC.  (I don’t end it that way either.)  Pardon me as I wipe a tear.  Want to have a catch Dad?  For those of you whose minds don’t immediately shift to the shooting of Old Yellar, you’re on the wrong blog.

First there’s the field.  It’s green.  The same green God made when he made green.  There’s a cross-hatched pattern to the cut, the white lines brilliantly juxtaposed.  The air smells of peanuts and dogs.

Baseball, as spoken by James Earl Jones:

“Ray. People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn into your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door, as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack…And they’ll walk off to the bleachers and sit in their short sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines where they sat when they were children, and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces… People will come, Ray…The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers; it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come…”

This is the twelve step nightmare for anyone who had a father.  At the end of the movie there is a dialog between Ray Kinsella and Shoeless Joe Jackson:

Ray Kinsella: I did it all. I listened to the voices, I did what they told me, and not once did I ask what’s in it for me.
Shoeless Joe Jackson: What are you saying, Ray?
Ray Kinsella: I’m saying? What’s in it for me?

Amidst all the confusion, amidst all the regulation, where does that leave you?  Ask, “What’s in it for me?”  What’s in it is whatever you put into it.  Drive this process to your benefit.  Build an EHR because it benefits you, not because it’s forced upon you.

EHR Short Cuts

How able are you to conjure up your most brainless moment—don’t worry, we aren’t on the EHR part yet.

As I was running in San Diego I was passed by a harem of seals—Navy Seals.  Some of them were in better shape than me, I couldn’t judge the fitness of the others as they ran by me too fast.  That got me thinking.  For those who having been regular readers, you’ll know this is where I have a tendency to drive myself over a cliff.

Seeing the Seals took me back to my wistful days as a cadet at the US Air Force Academy.  Coincidentally, my hair looked then a lot like it looks now.  One of the many pastimes they tossed our way for their amusement and our survival was orienteering; sort of map reading on steroids.  One night they took us to the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, paired off the doolies, gave us a set of map coordinates, a compass, map, and flashlight.  The way training worked, those who proved to be the fastest at mastering skills fared better than those who weren’t.  Hence, there was plenty of incentive to outperform everyone; including getting yourself to believe you could do things better than you could, sort of a confidence building program.

We were deposited in a large copse—I’ve always liked that word—of trees—I don’t know, but it seems adding trees to the phrase is somewhat redundant.  We had to orient ourselves and then figure out how to get to five consecutive locations.  The sun had long since set as we made our way through the treed canyon and back up a steep ravine.  After some moments of searching we found the marker indicating we were at point Able.  The group started to examine the information that would direct our journey to point Bravo.

While they honed their skills, I was examining the map, taking some bearings with the compass, and trying to judge the terrain via the moonlight.  My roommate, a tall lanky kid from Dothan, Alabama asked why I didn’t appear to be helping.

“Look at this,” I replied.  “Do you see that light over there, just to the right of that bluff?  I think I’ve found us a shortcut.”

“What about it?”  Asked Dothan.

“If my calculations are correct, that light is about here,” I said and showed them on my map.  “It can’t be more than a hundred yards from point Delta.”

“So?”

“So why go from Alpha to Bravo to Charlie to Delta, if we can go right to Delta from here?  That will knock off at least an hour.”  I had to show my calculations a few times to turn them into believers, but one by one they came aboard.  The moon disappeared behind an entire bank of thunderheads.  We were uniformly upbeat as we made our way in the growing blackness through the national forest.  Unlike the way most rains begin, that night the sky seemed to open upon us like a burst paper bag.

“Get our bearing,” I instructed Dothan.  As it was my idea, I was now the de facto leader.  As we were in a gully, getting our bearings required Dothan to climb a large evergreen.

“I don’t see it,” he hollered over the wind-swept rain squalls.  I scurried up, certain that he was either an idiot or blind.

“Do you see the light?”  They asked me.  I looked again.  Checked my map.  Checked my compass.  “It has to be there,” I yelled.

A voice floated up to me.  To me I thought it probably sounded a lot like the voice Moses heard from God as he was building the Ark.  (Just checking to see if you’re paying attention.)  “What if they turned off the light?”

I almost fell out of the tree like an apple testing the laws of gravity.  What if someone had turned off the light?  There was no ‘what if’ to consider.  That is exactly what happened.  Some inconsiderate homeowner had turned off their porch light and left us stranded.

Fast forward.  We were lost, real lost.  We didn’t finish last, but we did earn extra exercise the next day, penalized for being creative.  Who’da thunk it?

Short cuts.  When they work, you’re a headliner.  When they fail, chances are you’re also a headliner—writing the wrong kind of headlines.  I hate being redundant, but with EHR we may be dealing with the single largest expenditure in your organization.  It will cost twice as much to do it over as it will to do it right.  If you haven’t done this before—I won’t embarrass anyone by asking for a show of hands—every extra day you add to the planning process will come back to you several fold.  There may be short cuts you can take, but planning should not be one of them.  How much should we plan?  How long should it take?  Who should participate?  We will look at each of those questions in some detail.  For now, let’s answer those three questions with; more than you think, longer than you’ve planned for it to take, and different skills than you’re currently using.

Paul M. Roemer
Managing Partner, Healthcare IT Strategy

1475 Luna Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335
+1 (484) 885-6942
paulroemer@healthcareitstrategy.com

My profiles: LinkedInTwitter
My blog: Healthcare IT Strategy My thoughts on “One EMR Vendor’s View of Meaningful Use”

How to Revive a Failed EHR Implementation

My latest post on www.healthsystemCIO.com.  Here’s an idea I think merits consideration.

http://healthsystemcio.com/2010/07/30/how-to-revive-a-failed-ehr-implementation/

What do you think?