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Communication and marketing

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Communication and Marketing




As with any EHR implementation, C&M is critically important for success of the project. 

  • The message must be consistent at all levels of the organization.  This includes: the board level, senior management, medical leadership, and everyone involved in the project from the IT department.
  • The message should include the reasons why CPOE  is being implemented;  the benefits in patients safety,  quality and efficiency; the benefits to the user; and the overall timeline.
  • The overall timeline should be approximate, but with enough specifics the end users will know the impact on their work flow.  If the organization is truly committed to implementing CPOE,  then the use of the word “pilot” should be avoided.  A pilot project implies that full implementation has not been formally determined.
  • At one institution, the support and training team were accused of being, “Stepford wives” because they all delivered the same answers to any questions raised by the end users.
  • Communication should continue before, during and after the implementation; and should cover as many forms of media as possible.  Most organizations will need to deliver the message 5 to 7 times (via different methods and venues) before the end users began to truly “hear” the message.
  • Involvement of the marketing and communications department within the organization can be very helpful.  They are typically professional communicator who will assist in putting together a complete marketing and communication plan. 


  • Build the burning platform: The story as to why CPOE is being implemented needs to be codified throughout the organization.  The story should include the benefits to the patients and the organization regarding reduction in potential medication errors and efficiencies in delivery of care. Relevant journal articles should be available for distribution that document the patient safety benefits. The story should also include the benefits to the end users that will offset the additional time required to climb the learning curve and acclimate to using the new system.  These benefits may include: Improved access to clinical information through wireless devices or increased numbers of work stations, communication efficiencies  (instant transmission of electronic orders to target departments, etc.), reduction in call backs from nursing and pharmacy for order clarification.
  • The Board of Trustees and senior leadership need to have a full understanding of the implementation and the potential benefits, so that they may also reinforce the message during this period.
  • The Physician Champions should attend department and division meetings to let the medical staff know the time table and impact of the implementation. They should also spend time in the medical staff lounge and other areas where the physicians congregate socially.
  • Newsletters and other forms of printed communication should also be used to alert the staff about the upcoming implementation.


During Implementation

  • It is critical during implementation that the support staff and training staff are kept fully apprised of the status of the implementation and any issues that have arisen.
  • Feedback mechanisms should be available to facilitate communication of bugs and suggested enhancements.  This can occur through multiple forms, such as web based feedback forms and dedicated phone lines.
  • The physician Champions should continue to maintain a presence at division and department meetings, and the visible on the clinical units.  This will allow and users and available source to provide feedback, and will reinforce the message that the organization is committed long-term to the success of CPOE.
  • Anecdotes and stories of successes should be collected and shared.  These represent very effective tools to reinforce the messages and build momentum.  Physicians are highly influenced by stories from and about their colleagues.


Other Implementation Stages




Monitoring and Controlling 

Transitioning to Operations

Ongoing maintenance and optimization