Hospital Executives' Leadership Critical to EHR Implementation

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives for HealthLeaders Media , September 13, 2010
  • Executives should endorse governance structures that guide and build support for IT initiatives surrounding EHR implementations. For example, an executive-level IT steering committee can bear responsibility for a strategic information services plan.
  • Executives, and the CEO in particular, need to demonstrate the commitment of the organization to invest in efforts to increase efficiency in tandem with IT usage. This can include Lean, Six Sigma and other process improvement methods and techniques, investments in personal change assimilation, clinical use and other forms of workforce education.


"What the CIO needs most is the unqualified support of the CEO and other Senior Executives. They absolutely must share the vision, and see where the organization wants to end up and understand why. Along the way, there are going to be groups the need to be persuaded, coaxed, cajoled or just plain told to get on the bus or get off. That must be supported all the way to the top. To do that, they must have and fully share the vision. It starts with the CEO, and then the rest of the Senior Team. If the CEO does not get it, and support it, things may end up in jeopardy."
Stephen M. Stewart, MBA, FACHE, CPHIMS, CHCIO
Henry County Health Center

"First and foremost is talking the talk. If they don't understand what the next five years are going to bring, it will not happen. Clinical transformation will be huge for some organizations, and that will be to get not only the employed hospital staff to change the way they do business but also the physicians that work in the hospitals. It will be imperative that the executive staff understand, support and back this change. Computers are just the tool; the change is by the people."
Mary Jo Nimmo
Director of MIS
Lenoir Memorial Hospital

"Make it the organization's Job 1 and recognize it is a change in culture, not just a technology project. An EHR implementation is the most complicated undertaking a hospital will ever do ? it will affect staff, providers, ancillaries and patient care. If it's not Job 1, don't do it!"
Jack Kowitt
Senior VP and CIO
Parkland Health & Hospital System


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