Purpose and scope
The purpose of this best practice guideline (BPG) is to provide evidence-based individual, organization, education, and system/policy recommendations to: 1) enhance the capacity of all individuals involved in the implementation of an eHealth solution within a health care organization; 2) establish suitable infrastructures to support eHealth education needs; and, 3) facilitate technology-enabled health system transformation.
The Individual/Organization Recommendations provided in this Guideline will have relevance for all individuals involved in the implementation of an eHealth solution within a health care organization, regardless of their role. Academic institutions may use the Education Recommendations to develop or enhance their eHealth curricula. Lastly, individuals who lead, facilitate, or support eHealth initiatives at the regional, jurisdictional, or national levels may find the System/Policy Recommendations useful for developing policies, procedures and protocols.
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. (2017). Adopting eHealth Solutions: Implementation Strategies. Toronto, ON: Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.
Do you want to learn about and implement the most- up-to-date evidence-based recommendations on this topic with your colleagues? Download and share the full best practice guideline (BPG), Adopting eHealth Solutions: Implementation Strategies.
See below for a snapshot of the recommendations from this BPG. We strongly suggest you review the full BPG before implementing the recommendations and good practice statements. The BPG also includes further resources to support implementation and evaluation.
Recommendation 1.1: Health care organizations will ensure visible executive sponsorship throughout all phases of the implementation of the eHealth solution.
Recommendation 1.2: Executive leadership will establish a formalized governance structure with defined roles and responsibilities to guide and support all phases of the implementation and adoption of the eHealth solution, in alignment with the organizational culture, goals, and objectives.
Recommendation 1.3: Executive leadership will assess individual, organizational, and technical readiness for the implementation of an eHealth solution.
Recommendation 1.4: Project steering committees will establish an interprofessional team including representation from persons who are/were recipients of care to identify and select an eHealth solution to support the organization’s strategic vision and plan. A systematic process that encompasses the use of a decision matrix and structured evaluation guide is recommended.
Recommendation 1.5: Contract negotiation teams will collaborate with the project steering committee to support and inform the licensing agreement negotiations and to ensure that the terms and conditions discussed during the eHealth solution selection process are included in the contract.
Recommendation 1.6: Project managers will use formal project management methodology to guide the implementation of the eHealth solution.
Recommendation 1.7: Project leads will collaborate with the steering committee to ensure that the right people are in the right place at the right time to lead and support various facets of the implementation of the eHealth solution.
Recommendation 1.8: Project leads will collaborate with the steering committee to identify discipline-specific champions at all levels of the organization (representing each stakeholder group impacted) to build awareness of the system, and promote adoption among their peers and across the organization.
Recommendation 1.9: Health care organizations will use a formal change management methodology to address the role-specific needs of the individual as they transition from the present to the future state.
Recommendation 1.10: Project leads will develop a stakeholder management plan early in the planning phase to fully engage all stakeholders for optimal implementation and adoption of the eHealth solution.
Recommendation 1.11: Project leads will collaborate with the steering committee to develop and implement a communication management strategy to control the delivery of targeted communication to specific stakeholders using the most effective media at the right times, with built-in channels for feedback. The communication management strategy should be initiated early in the planning phase and updated regularly throughout the project.
Recommendation 1.12: Health care organizations will incorporate usability processes throughout the implementation and adoption of the eHealth solution to enhance individual and organizational efficiencies, effectiveness, and user satisfaction.
Recommendation 1.13: Project leads will develop a comprehensive education and training plan to enable individuals to learn and integrate the new eHealth solution into their daily routine and workflows.
Recommendation 1.14: Project leads will collaborate with the steering committee to identify key indicators for monitoring and evaluation and use a comprehensive evaluation framework to guide the project evaluation.
Recommendation 1.15: Health care organizations will have an ongoing post-implementation operational plan that includes data governance structures and processes that support sustainability and continuous optimization of the eHealth solution.
Recommendation 2.1: Health care organizations and academic institutions will establish an eHealth education and training infrastructure that provides opportunities for health care executives, nurses, and other health professionals to develop role-specific informatics competencies.
Recommendation 2.2: Health care organizations will facilitate the integration of role-specific informatics competencies within executive and professional practice leadership responsibilities using a shared accountability model.
Recommendation 2.3: All nurses and other health professionals will assume responsibility for their professional growth and development in informatics competencies.
Recommendation 2.4: Health care organizations will facilitate a person’s access to health information (personal and educational), empowering them to assume greater responsibility for the self-management of their health and to engage in more informed dialogue with their health professionals.
Recommendation 3.1: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve nationwide interoperability in consultation with representatives from all stakeholder groups, including nurses, other health professionals, the private sector, regulatory bodies, professional associations, and persons who are (or who were) recipients of care.
Recommendation 3.2: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will establish an effective governance structure that provides strong, coordinated leadership that works in conjunction with regulatory bodies and professional associations to realize the goal of nationwide health information exchange.
Recommendation 3.3: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will provide incentives to foster the development of innovative next-generation eHealth solutions aligned with legislation, standards and policies formulated in consultation with professional and regulatory bodies and professional associations.
Recommendation 3.4: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will provide financial and procurement incentives to mitigate barriers to the adoption of eHealth solutions.
Recommendation 3.5: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will develop and strategically implement education and training policies to build eHealth capacity in the workforce. These policies will be endorsed by regulatory bodies and professional associations to ensure alignment with the curricula in academic institutions.
Recommendation 3.6: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will collaborate with regulatory bodies and professional associations to accelerate the adoption of eHealth solutions.
Recommendation 3.7: National and jurisdictional agencies responsible for eHealth will collaborate with government agencies responsible for the telecommunications infrastructure to plan for increased connectivity in remote areas to support the implementation of eHealth solutions and enable national interoperability.
Disclaimer: These guidelines are not binding for nurses, other health providers or the organizations that employ them. The use of these guidelines should be flexible and based on individual needs and local circumstances. They constitute neither a liability nor discharge from liability. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents at the time of publication, neither the authors nor the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) gives any guarantee as to the accuracy of the information contained in them or accepts any liability with respect to loss, damage, injury or expense arising from any such errors or omission in the contents of this work.