Monday, March 18, 2013

SuperUsers in EHR

Situation: "offers guidelines on developing a structured SU group to ensure continued success of your EHR"

Background: Superusers are perhaps the most important element to a successful launch of any new EHR for a facility. Having just gone through a full electronic medical record (EHR) system install at a large university health system in Southern California, I have personally witnessed just how greatly, and how poorly, utilized superusers can be. Their existence is not a new phenomenon as the concept of "on the floor" support has been around for a while. Superusers are typically those who are participate early in the project and are able to gain additional exposure prior to launch. The additional preparation and involvement provides them with the ability to assist with the transition.

Application: This would be helpful for anyone involved with current implementation or optimization of an EHR. The article provides a good approach at utilizing the "superuser" in a simplistic but very effective manner.

Review: Defines the super user with the "primary function of the SU group is to act as a liaison between clinical staff/hospital departments and the IS department for the purpose of making the elec- tronic documentation system as efficient and user- friendly as possible and to improve patient safety and outcomes." Also, the author continues to provide definitions and characteristics of a superuser:
  1. acting as a liaison/resource person between hospital departments and the information systems department,
  2. keeping electronic documentation templates current to meet regulatory standards
  3. identifying current or ongoing electronic documentation system issues/problems,
  4. routinely educating staff on EHR system changes/updates as needed
  5. assisting with testing and auditing of the EHR
A well rounded super user team consist of "tech savvy" employees from various roles ranging from unit clerk to physician. Most importantly, superusers should commit to participate in most meetings for at least two years. This continuity of participation is critical to the progress of the many project a group might undertake. 

Article Referenced

A Super User Group for Your Electronic Health Record! by Simmons, Nagaina MSN, RN
CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing. 31(2):53-56, February 2013.