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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality
Improvement

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Who are the key stakeholders for the project?

Important factors for successful implementation of health IT are the early involvement of all the stakeholders and sponsorship from senior leadership throughout the course of the project. Working to achieve stakeholder buy-in and demonstrating the potential value of the system to leadership early on is essential. The unique benefits of the system to each stakeholder need to be well explained and understood.

In addition to getting administration and leadership on board, before undertaking a health IT implementation, it is critical to connect with everyone whose work will be affected by the new technology. Ideally, each key constituency (e.g., physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and administrative staff) who will interact with the system should be involved in identifying requirements and designing the system. This approach is likely to optimize the system usefulness and adoption. It is important that individuals understand how the system may affect their work, as well as the benefits of moving to a new clinical system.

Key stakeholders include:

  • Senior leadership (CFO, COO, CEO) - Engaging with senior leadership early in the process is a critical component of a major clinical system implementation. It is important to ensure that senior leadership has a clear understanding of the potential costs and benefits for purchasing and installing a new clinical application.
  • Providers - Since providers are a major group of users of health IT, it is important to ensure that providers’ buy-in is obtained at an early stage in the project. Understanding provider needs and ensuring that a system is optimized to accommodate the workflow of busy providers are important aspects of promoting use and adoption.
  • Nursing staff - Nursing staff are often heavy users of clinical applications. The potential benefits of time savings, quick access to information and comprehensive medical record keeping are all strong reasons to promote use of the application. Working with nursing staff on potential workflow and process changes that will occur with new health IT implementation is especially important.
  • Clinic managers - Clinical managers play a key role in overseeing day to day clinical operations, workflow, and quality improvement initiatives. As part of system planning and implementation, the involvement of clinical managers in assessing requirements and workflows is critical.
  • Billing and administrative staff - Engage with billing and administrative staff early when implementing a practice management system (PMS) system. Users should be involved in requirements gathering and vendor selection to ensure that the selected system meets the needs of the user community.
  • Medical records staff - Medical records staff are significantly impacted by the implementation of EHR and PMS systems. Discussions should be held to determine their needs, including workflow changes, such as responding to medical record requests, and regulatory requirements.

Staff is often wary of EHR implementations, citing job security as a primary concern. By engaging staff early on, user concerns can be addressed. In addition, staff can be appropriately prepared for the new work processes and how their skills can be leveraged once the new system is in place.

Resources:

  • Key HIT Staff Roles (XLS - 59 KB) go to exit disclaimer – Developed by DOQ-IT and IPRO, this tool delineates roles of key staff associated with the HIT implementation project.
  • EHR Readiness Tool (PDF - 100 KB) go to exit disclaimer – Developed by DOQ-IT; this tool helps health delivery organizations assess readiness, including staff involvement, to adopt EHR.
Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
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