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From The CriticsReviewer: LouAnn Schraffenberger, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P(Advocate Health Care)
Description: This book, published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), offers strategies for engaging users to ensure a successful clinical information system implementation. The authors emphasize a step-by-step, logical approach to design and deployment of an information system for clinical computing.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book is intended to serve as a guide for those who want to avoid unnecessary and costly delays during the software deployment lifecycle. It offers a variety of tools and processes that readers can use to define expectations and manage relationships between the deployment staff and system users, typically clinicians. The book illustrates the value of asking questions. The two authors have extensive experience in clinical information systems design and deployment. Case driven examples and real life scenarios offer lessons in how to avoid the pitfalls of implementing a new healthcare systems application.
Audience: The book would be of interest to deployment managers, clinicians, product development managers, chief executives, and chief information officers and software system vendors who all need to understand the strengths, motivations, and needs of one another. As anyone who has experienced a poorly implemented clinical system knows, the deployment manager and the (clinician) users cannot begin talking to one another halfway through the installation. This book offers sound advice on how to avoid that pitfall.
Features: The book is organized into three sections: an overview in chapters 1 through 3; deployment in chapters 4 through 7; and "take away" in chapter 8. The overview introduces readers to prioritizing people, processes, recommending best practices, organizing and preparing the implementation team. The deployment chapters describe in depth the individual components within the deployment cycle. Detailed case examples are given. Section three provides important lessons learned and recommended actions for effective deployment of a clinical management system.
Assessment: I agree with the authors' stated intent: "This book will help readers avoid many of the common pitfalls that deployment managers encounter while deploying information systems in a healthcare setting." Having experienced a couple of less-than-smooth healthcare system implementations, I wished I had read this book beforehand. The authors are absolutely right about many factors that come into play when a system is "pushed through" without good interaction among designers, deployers and users. I also agree with the authors' observation: "Software development within a medical setting is extremely challenging but there are tools and processes available to achieve success." This book is one of those tools - read it now, before your next clinical information system deployment or upgrade.