Implementing an EPR? Don't Overlook Fundamentals Like Change Management

Stay up to date on our latest blogs and content


By Melissa Alfiero | May 22, 2024

3 minute read Blog| Epic| EHR/EPR

  • Do your leadership and operations teams feel unprepared to go live, or do they think their voices have not been heard?
  • Are your providers unhappy? Do they feel like they are spending too much time charting, or are they unsure how to complete their workflows?
  • Maybe your finance department is frustrated by the lack of understanding of how clinical workflows impact payment outcomes.

Does any of this sound familiar? All of these questions demonstrate a gap in where you are today and where you want to be when your project launches. The bridge to cover that gap is proactive and intentional change management programmes and planning. A strong focus on Change Management and readiness programmes pre-go-live is imperative to project success.

Can one truly overstate the importance of Change Management in an Epic implementation or optimisation project? When we talk change management, we mean preparing your users and operators for the changes that will come with the installation. We are talking about proactive planning and communication programmes to improve outcomes and attitudes in your most important resources: your staff. If you think about it, you realise that all of the effort that goes into great build, design, and training can be thwarted if you have not spent the time truly preparing your organisation for the coming changes. Involve them in the process and build their excitement to use the new product.  

Change management has been an essential component of project management and is just as critical today as ever, especially given the significant investment in digital transformation and eagerness for success in EPR implementation. Your EPR is fundamental to your patient care and your staff satisfaction. Spend the time to get this work done thoroughly and done right. You need a Change Management programme with a plan that covers four major user groups and their concerns:

Change Management bridges the gap in these ways:

- Worried about spending too much time charting

- Not being allowed to focus on patient care

- Uncertain about new workflows and where to find the information they need in the system

Readiness Programmes to prepare clinicians in…

- Workflow and tools review
- System training
- Readiness Assessments
- User preferences and usability labs
- Policy review
- Agile governance

- Confidence in workflows and tools

- Time savings through completion of tasks more efficiently

- Devote more focus and time to patient care

- Enhanced patient care and communication


- Uncertain on how clinical workflows and documentation affect payment outcomes

- Looking for opportunities to minimise manual work and back end clean-up

Readiness Programmes to prepare users in…

- Transition to new workflows and tools (work queue based)
- System training
- Readiness assessments
- Ownership and accountability for future metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Policy review
- Agile governance

- Confidence in expected income and the accountability to ensure success

- Enhanced communication and partnership with clinical operations and finance

- Apprehensive of how staff will respond to the change and the impact on patient satisfaction

- Unsure of if their voices have been heard in the system design, goals and project vision

- Involvement in both the clinical and administrative readiness programmes

- Partnership with communications throughout the install

- Key players in the selection, monitoring and ownership of KPIs

- Project meets strategic goals and mission

- Efficiency is improving with enhanced visibility and accountability

- Clinicians are well prepared and empowered by new tools and information at their fingertips

- Patients are well cared for and satisfied

- Worried about their daily work being more time consuming and missing out on patient interactions due to more time in the system

- Unsure on how future EPR will accomplish former paper processes

- Careful selection of subject matter experts and leaders

- Thoughtful goals and future state planning

- Intentional involvement in communications

- Solid training programmes

- Clear training leads to time savings and job enjoyment

- Measurable outcomes and goals

- Communication improves as work is no longer siloed by user groups

- Patient care improves with more accurate and timely data available to staff users


In order to be successful, you need a Change Management Lead that can help build out your programme to meet the needs of each unique area. You will want to consider many topics, but here are just a few:

  • Your staff and their goals/needs: Who your subject matter experts are, who your staff programme leaders will be, and what the programme's goals should be based on their needs.
  • Policy Review and Updates: How will policy review work? Who will do the review, and how long will it take? How will changes be governed, updated and implemented?
  • Solid training programmes: How will training work? Who is leading it? Is the physical space ready, wired and set up? Is it virtual? How are you tracking your user’s requirements and proficiencies?
  • Communication Planning: How will communication be handled throughout the project, for the team and for end users? How is marketing involved?
  • Readiness and Accountability Programmes: What is your plan for ongoing workflow review, education, planning and readiness assessments with your operational teams? How will you build accountability with your programme leaders and ultimately measure your success?

At CereCore International, we believe in strong change management. We are great at it because we are healthcare operators. We understand the concerns and questions that come from your staff and team, and we also understand the importance of these programmes from an IT perspective. You need educated and well-prepared staff to truly take advantage of the Epic system and use it meaningfully for all of its capabilities.

Let us help you build a successful change management programme focused on meeting your organisation's needs.

About the Author:
Melissa Alfiero

Director Application, CereCore

Put Us to Work

Let us know how we can support your initiatives and take some of the heavy lifting from healthcare IT.