345 Days Before Go-Live

Only a few days before Christmas. Can you imagine the craziness around my workplace? The majority of the project team will be out for the Christmas and New Year holidays and will be returning to work the first week of 2012. My colleagues and I are scrabbling to meet all of our deadlines. I can already imagine the craziness in January. I am currently on the implementation team of a hospital that has a legacy system. Actually, the physicians, nurses, and other clinicians in my institution have been using an electronic medical record for 36 years. The end users are not new to technology. Four years ago, the entire hospital upgraded the DOS based system to a graphical user interface (GUI). In 345 days, they will have an entirely integrated system and the patient will have one chart. From the time a patient is admitted in registration, the electronic system will play a major role throughout the patient’s inpatient stay. If the patient is scheduled for surgery, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and the entire operating room staff will be charting on the integrated electronic medical record.

In fact, even the patient’s primary care physician will have access to the patient’s medical record. Having a integrated

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electronic medical system is a huge accomplishment and not many hospitals in the United States have it. This is a win-win for patients. Paper charts will be non-existent and become an interdisciplinary chart, where all disciplines document in one chart. The end users in my facility are always willing to embrace change and are ready for the new change in electronic systems. In order to accomplish all of my tasks, I learned to manage and prioritize my time wisely. Here are some of my tips. 1.) Write down all of your tasks in one place and spend a few minutes each day re-writing your task list. 2.) Cross off all of your tasks as you complete them. 3.) Don’t buy an expensive time management system. Spreadsheets or writing it down on a notebook works better. 4.) Schedule time with people and stay on topic if you have a deadline. 5.) Manage your time by looking ahead of the project timeline and allow yourself plenty of time to get all of your tasks accomplished. 6.) One last tip – smile and have fun. Implementing a healthcare system requires teamwork. Remember one person cannot do it all. Delegate tasks to other people. 5.)

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