Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

The Precipice of Change & the Introduction of EMR

Mary Copp
Orillia Soldier's Memorial Hospital

Through the period of this Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship I did intensive independent reading and learning. I began with my outlined goal of literature searches in the fields of nursing informatics, adult education and change management. My goals directed me to also educating myself in the field of project management.

I feel strongly that I have achieved my overall goal of increasing my knowledge and my skill set in a leadership role as it applies to my organizations utilization management system, information and communication technology and the implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR). During my fellowship time I was given the opportunity of joining the EMR team. I was added to the clinical review team for our request for proposals from different partnerships and vendors. With this team I was able to participate in many site visits and vendor demonstrations. I was also included in mapping the current state business process and restructuring to develop a future state mapping documents. I was instrumental in identifying risks related to implementing an EMR. I also produced gantt charts related to timelines and milestones for implementation of an EMR. Effective change management strategies will be vital to the success of this implementation.

I restructured our current education package for staff learning the utilization management system (UMS). I provided supervision and guidance to a group of nurses who were eager to be a part of this learning.

I was able to meet with eHealth professionals within other community hospitals and discuss lessons learned from their implementation of an EMR in regards to professional and regulatory standards and workplace policies.

Moving forward from this fellowship I have been asked to remain with the EMR implementation team. I have been provided the task of developing a project plan for the hospital in regards to implementing use of the utilization management system as a precursor to working with an EMR. I will be working closely with the transformation lead and chief information officer (CIO) for the organization with this task to ensure change management strategies remain effective and efficient. I also will be working with unit managers to enhance their knowledge of the reports that can be gained from the UMS in effort to decrease unexpected delays in safe patient discharge. Our organization has made a commitment both financial and with the human resource required to achieving this outcome not only on the medical and surgical units but throughout the hospital.

I am enthralled by these opportunities given to me and thank the RNAO ACPF selection committee for their support and provision of opening the door to this new era of my career in nursing within my organization.

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