What do the tasks of electronic medical records (EMR) implementation and the principles of change management have in common? Quite a bit, according to experts in the implementation of EMR software systems.
According to Harvard Business School professors Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria, PhD, 70% of all change initiatives fail. (Remember that installing an EMR system is essentially one large change initiative.) Beer and Nohria attribute this failure rate to the way in which organizations approach change. Their research indicates that organizations, based on their culture, choose an “either-or” approach. Some organizations choose an approach that tries to create a quick return on investment based on economics. Others approach change in an open, trusting culture based on results over time. While the professors recommend a blend of the approaches as most effective, some organizations do not consider change management strategies as part of the transition to the electronic medical record (EMR).
Moving to an EMR requires a change in employee attitudes and behaviors. Healthcare organizations that address change management issues and help their users prepare for the impact of an EMR may increase their odds of being part of the 30% who complete successful change initiatives.
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