Super Duper Super User

I’ve spent the past week at another hospital within our health care system as they “go live” with our system’s new electronic medical records system. It has been a huge undertaking, and our hospital is next on the list for this process. So in a way, it was a rehearsal for me. A much-appreciated rehearsal.

Here’s what I’ve learned from three shifts as a Super User:

  • Even the best systems have their flaws and can always be improved upon. Better to ask for enhancements than just cope with sub-par options – the least they can do is say “No” or “Not yet”.
  • Things will go wrong. That’s why you’re there.
  • You don’t have to have all the answers. That’s why there are application experts and analysts to help you solve problems.
  • It’s pretty easy to tell who needs an extra hand.
  • You’re there to help people learn a new system, not change policy. If you have an idea for documentation practice, but a unit manager or other leader wants things done a certain way, don’t argue (for now). There will be time to fight for best practices. Right now just show the nurses where to put their freaking Is and Os.
  • Help nurses remember how to be nurses. If the system isn’t working optimally (or at all), stress levels are high. But it’s a computer. Focus on the patient and help them do their jobs. The technical problems will be solved in time.

I have a couple more shifts next week before I head back to my own unit, energized about the process to come. And also nervous. All things considered, it’s been a very successful adoption so far and I think we will be fine. But this experience has helped open my eyes to some of the challenges we will probably also face. It’s also helped me create a “wish list” for enhancements, some of which I have already requested in my role as a Super User. The idea is that by requesting improved workflows now, our own Go Live will be that much smoother.

Here’s hoping…

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