The Stoltenberg Blog

Healthcare technology insights for competitive value-based care strategy

Getting Through an EHR Go-Live

Have you survived a HIT go-live? Just like "this one time, at band camp," several of us have "this one time, at a go-live" stories to share.

An entire system go-live, new version upgrades, or even small optimizations can be considered to be within a go-live event. This is the time when you find out if all the testing really helped and if the end users truly absorbed the training.

Though EHR go-lives can be a true test of stamina, here are some tips to best tackle the big event:

  1. Has anyone else gone through a similar go-live? Schedule calls with other vendor clients to go over lessons learned from their go-live.

  2. Know your schedule long in advance to prepare for the longer workdays. Your family will be without you.

  3. Get plenty of sleep! It can be difficult to change your sleep patterns, but you need to be alert.

  4. Don't eat the junk food in the command center. If food is being provided, have everyone ask for healthy alternatives to cookies and doughnuts.

  5. Document everything. Make sure you keep good notes on any build done for the go-live. You or a co-worker may have to undo something if it causes a problem.

  6. Be invisible when not needed and working on tickets. The command center can get crowded and out of control at times. You want the end users who stop by to see that everything is in control, so they'll feel comfortable. They've been given a new system or a change to the system to get accustomed to and take care of patients at the same time. Knowing their support is in control will help them more than you know.

  7. If a quick fix to an issue isn't available, try to come up with a workaround until a permanent fix can be completed. End users on all shifts will need to be kept up to date with workarounds and any fixes.

  8. If you're very lucky and get caught up, ask if anyone can use your help. You would appreciate the help, right?

  9. Be sure to thank all of your teammates! Everyone who has supported you through the go-live would be considered your parachute packers.

  10. Once the go-live is complete and everything is working perfectly, offer your lessons learned to other vendor clients to go full circle.

Please share your best go-live stories. What could have been done differently? What are your suggestions for your next go-live.