Wyoming's Winning Meaningful Use Strategy

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , September 7, 2011

So the hospital formed a committee made up of representatives from different departments, and the same group of people participated in every vendor demonstration. "Then we sat down and we did a debriefing, worked it out on a white board, with the pros and cons of each ones before we made a decision," Boley said. "All of the end-user departments, I felt, were fairly represented, including our medical staff."

2.    Take a "shotgun approach": Although this may not work for every hospital, Boley is happy that South Lincoln Medical Center chose to install a more advanced system right up front. "Instead of doing an installation where we just did one piece at a time, we basically did the shotgun approach," he said. "It's kind of like a Band-Aid: you just have to grab it and rip it off, go through the pain quickly…no matter how you do it, it's going to be painful. We just kind of figured if we did it all at once, bit the bullet, we'd be better off down the road, and it's paid off."

3.    Don't pass the buck: Although many of the responsibilities of implementation will naturally belong to the IT director, "the CEO's got to be right in the middle of it," Boley said. "It has to be a priority to the CEO to lead by example, and to get out in front, and let the entire organization and the community know what you're doing and why you're doing it."

4.    Remember there's no such thing as a perfect system: "I've watched the struggles of our state. We have 16 critical access hospitals in Wyoming and 27 total hospitals," Boley said. He says he's also watched as people struggle to choose a system. "There is no perfect solution out there for any of us. We had to take what we have and find ways to make it work."

5.    If it ain't broke, don't fix it: Boley chose not to upgrade to a brand new system, despite the federal incentives to do so. "To me it's a waste," he said. "We already have a system that was working."

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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