The following five steps outline how, like Diversicare, most any provider can roll out EMRs in a flash.

1. Standardize the application and best practices for workflows. Standardization of workflows is a key ingredient for success on both the center and corporate levels. On the center level, variability produces waste, which can come in many forms: wasted steps, wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted opportunities to deliver a quality care experience. 

Standardization allows variability to be reduced and waste to be minimized. On the corporate level, standardization allows for measurement of a consistent resident experience and provides everyone involved with a single version of the truth. If support is needed, it can be delivered with no delay. 

2. Leverage existing staff to minimize transition costs. The components of time and cost can be removed from the equation when it comes to knowledge transfer within a project team. By eliminating this knowledge transfer, the costs of deployment can be kept to a minimum. 

Establishing champions in each nursing center is also important. Diversicare’s “preceptor model” empowers the best staff in each center to provide training on how to take ownership of activities that support the implementation effort and facilitate continuous improvement of quality outcomes. 
Specialty training for interdisciplinary teams is helpful and results in productivity and improved quality care. 

3. Create a seamless project team. It is absolutely critical to assemble a project team that includes software professionals with deep product and clinical expertise. Internal project team members will deal with the “noise” during an implementation, and having an expert software partner who knows the system is essential to success. 

With automation comes efficiency, and the more information that is captured about residents, the more solid the EMR. Nurses appreciate that when they are more proactive, the quality of life for nurses and residents is also enhanced. 

4. Celebrate success at each major milestone. Typically, people fear what they don’t understand, so promoting the program early builds excitement and momentum so that by the time a team arrives, the staff cannot wait to get started. Diversicare found that the best way to do this was to hold a preparatory “party” at each nursing center to get everyone ready for the program by outlining coming events; carefully explaining the amount of hard work and why it will be worth it; sharing examples of sister nursing centers; and describing how cutting-edge the nursing center will be, how resident care will improve, and how proactive everyone will be. 

Advantages include better documentation of resident care, better communication, and instant access from any computer anywhere in the nursing center. 

5. Get an integrated application with a single, robust database. Very soon, the secure transmission of health care data among providers will be absolutely essential for survival. The future of the industry depends upon being able to respond to evolving integration models. An integrated application should safely and easily integrate with many systems in the increasingly connected world of health care. 

There are many hidden costs of complexity when deploying enterprise applications for health care systems, and the right skill sets are necessary for initial integration and maintenance. These skill sets can be expensive and time-prohibitive, so it is important to implement a single, powerful system that will allow for future integrations without introducing cost and complexity.