When Worlds Collide: Clinical Involvement in EMR Implementation is Imperative

Back in the early 90s, the hospital where I worked implemented an electronic medical record (EMR). My part of the project was to enter all information from the hospital’s Operating Room preference cards into the new system. I recall the nurses and doctors were up in arms about the change.
“Where do we document the surgeon’s preference of the temperature of the room?” “Where do we document what radio station that surgeon likes?” “Will all of my OR preferences make it into the new system?”

But, despite resistance from clinical staff, that hospital, like many others around the country, moved away from managing patient information in a paper environment and into the digital age.

In fact, it was only a few years later when I had my first opportunity to enter nursing documentation into an EMR. Admittedly, I liked it and even found it fun—until I kept encountering typos in the system. It really bothered me. Who wants to put permanent documentation into a medical record with typos? I couldn’t believe that a software company would sell a product with that many words spelled wrong. Imagine my surprise when I contacted our IT staff and learned that they had built the forms I was using. The IT department put the onus on me: If I wanted those words spelled correctly, I needed to learn how to build those screens myself. That was when my clinical world collided with the world of IT.

Ever since that moment, I have seen firsthand why having clinical input is imperative to successful EMR implementations. Nurses and physicians know the workflow. They know what data is valuable and what needs to be captured. They understand the Quality Measures and the required documentation. And, they know how to spell arrhythmia. It took a while for clinicians to come to the table, but now most healthcare organizations are reaping the benefit of incorporating their unique insight when planning strategic IT initiatives.

As a solution provider to healthcare organizations, Hyland Software recognizes the benefit of involving clinicians in its research and development efforts for its suite of OnBase healthcare solutions. A Physician Advisory Board, comprising both current OnBase customers as well as non-customers, meets quarterly to offer feedback and advice on ways OnBase can address technology and business needs in healthcare.

Through these conversations with practicing clinicians, we’re learning that, for many organizations, OnBase is much more than a product. With its ability to help organizations create a complete electronic patient record, it’s become an integral part of the way healthcare organizations provide patient care. By working with clinicians, Hyland is making sure OnBase will continue to do so.

Can you say the same about your document management vendor?


As a registered nurse for more than 30 years, Lorna Green, RN, BSN, worked in a number of healthcare environments – including ICU, Surgery, Home Health and Medical/Surgical Units and as a school nurse – before transitioning to informatics and Health Information Technology in 1999.

As Hyland’s Healthcare Informatics Executive Advisor, Lorna provides thought leadership and expertise of the regulations, solutions and trends impacting the informatics discipline within healthcare industry, specializing in clinical processes and quality measures, the Joint Commission standards, Meaningful Use, Interoperability and the HIMSS Analytics EMR adoption model.

Lorna earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Valdosta State University in Georgia. She joined Hyland in 2010 as a Senior Business Consultant.
Lorna Green

Lorna Green

As a registered nurse for more than 30 years, Lorna Green, RN, BSN, worked in a number of healthcare environments – including ICU, Surgery, Home Health and Medical/Surgical Units and... read more about: Lorna Green