How a Common Work Area Benefits Your EMR Project

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How a Common Work Area Benefits Your EMR Project
November 22, 2019

An Integrated EMR

A hospital staff implementing an integrated EMR has a big job ahead of them. It takes planning to successfully coordinate the design efforts of countless people across dozens of departments and teams. Too often these teams work in siloes. When it comes time to test the system as an integrated unit, the outcome is far from perfect. How do you ensure teams work in coordination with one another during this critical project?

Overcoming the Silo Problem

“Overcoming the silo problem is actually pretty simple,” says Brian Beals, Atlanticon’s Client Services Director. “We insist that there be a common workroom where teams can get together to discuss cross-team issues. More importantly, we use that workroom for teams to demonstrate their design efforts at intervals throughout the project. This allows personnel to stay abreast of the work going on within each team. The benefit is that it avoids surprises at a time when you can least afford them.”

Atlanticon Recommendations:

  • >Procure a room large enough to house the IT members from each of your key application teams, as well as some additional spaces for invited guests (liaisons, interface, or conversion staff for example).
  • >Designate a time each day (8 a.m.–12 p.m. or 1 p.m.–4 p.m.) for your team to collect there so schedules can be built around that time. Require your key application teams, Pharmacy, Orders, Clin Doc, HIM, Registration, CPOE, etc., to plan on working on their project-related tasks in that designated room.
  • >Enforcing the use of the Project Work Area for the Design and Build phases makes the most sense, as these are the phases of the project during which the teams develop an integrated system.
  • >Your PM should spearhead this cohesive approach and schedule “show me” sessions. These are opportunities for each team to present their respective system design at key points in the timeline. They can also be used to demonstrate progress on build efforts. Each team member can be confident that they are creating an integrated system that will work FOR the user community.

Outside the Box

Hospitals often object that they simply don’t have the space to dedicate. However, they can utilize the common work area for multiple purposes. A meeting space, testing room, Conference Room Pilot, and a Command Center are great uses of this space. I can recall at least five clients who simply didn’t have space for a common work area. Rather than moving the project off campus, we recommend a strategically outfitted mobile trailer. It was on campus, departments remained intact, there were no challenging travel logistics, and it was able to be sold when the project was over. Sometimes, you have to think outside the box.

See how Atlanticon can help with your EMR implementation. Contact us today at

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