Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

EHR implementation timeline for hospitals

Implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system can be a long process that involves multiple departments.

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

Implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system into a hospital is a long process. To ensure that the system is deployed in a timely manner and used in a meaningful fashion, it is first necessary to establish a realistic timetable for achieving objectives. The project will extend from preliminary assessments of your current infrastructure to the live launch and beyond to efforts to sustain the use of the system.

Nine to 12 months before launch
• Get support from hospital leadership
• Submit request for proposals and review submissions
• Create a shortlist and choose vendor
• Plan implementation, training, and provisioning
• Assess current project management

Six to nine months before go-live
• Appoint a project team and define roles and responsibilities
• Develop workflows for automating documentation and manual entry
• Plan processes for migrating paper information to the system
• Review database and assess infrastructure
• Define templates and data elements
• Create list of chief complaints and necessary data elements for billing and patient encounters
• Provision necessary hardware and software needs

Read about the biggest Epic EHR, Cerner EHR Implementations , Allscripts EHR Implementations , and MEDITECH EHR implementations.

Three to six months before go-live
• Install hardware
• Create communities of referrals
• Customize and review templates
• Evaluate readiness of physicians and nurses
• Schedule training of staff and additional training for super users
• Reconcile installation timeline with vendor’s timeline
• Notify patients about new system, provide an overview of the benefits, and request feedback from patients of thoughts or concerns

One to three months before go-live
• Build and test interfaces
• Test readiness system
• Populate patient records
• Adjust patient schedules
• Adjust staff schedules
• Communicate schedule to staff

About 30 days until go-live
• Customize templates
• Reduce patient load
• Assess and recheck system, workflows, etc.
• Meet with staff midday and day’s end to gather feedback

From 30 to 120 days after go-live
• Compare templates of providers in system
• Build a common internal dictionary of own terms
• Share protocols among clinicians
• Create a network for support and feedback with other hospitals and organizations
• Communicate with vendor about questions, concerns, or bugs

Browse the latest EHR, MeaningfulUse and ICD-10 White Papers and Guides 

Related Checklists:

EHR preparation checklist for hospitals
EHR implementation checklist for hospitals
EHR vendor selection checklist for hospitals





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