Physician buy-in for EMRs.J Healthc Inf Manag. 2010 Spring; 24(2):41-4.JH
Implementing an EMR in an ambulatory practice requires intense workflow analysis, introduction of new technologies and significant cultural change for the physicians and physician champion. This paper will relate the experience at Lehigh Valley Health Network in the implementation of an ambulatory EMR and with the physician champions that were selected to assist the effort. The choice of a physician champion involves political considerations, variation in leadership and communication styles, and a cornucopia of personalities. Physician leadership has been shown to be a critical success factor for any successful technology implementation. An effective physician champion can help develop and promote a clear vision of an improved future, enlist the support of the physicians and staff, drive the process changes needs and manage the cultural change required. The experience with various types of physician champions will be discussed, including, the "reluctant leader", the "techie leader", the "whiny leader", and the "mature leader". Experiences with each type have resulted in a valuable, "lessons learned" summary. LVHN is a tertiary academic community medical center consisting of 950 beds and over 450 employed physicians. LVHN has been named to the Health and Hospital Network's 100 Top Wired and 25 Most Wireless Hospitals.