Achieving our goals depends on hard work and compromise

September 9, 2019

The expression “I am not saying it will be easy, but I am saying it will be worth it” expresses a truth about change generally, and our efforts to expand GLIMR in particular. Bringing together disparate organizations (in the case of Cohort 1, GPPC, UBMD and ECMC clinics) to share a common EMR is a worthy goal that will bring many benefits to our patients and our community. Having all patient data in one record, regardless of where the patient was seen or by whom, will greatly improve patient safety and quality of care. 

The electronic medical record is just a tool to help us along a journey whose goal is to provide the best health care for our community. – Peter Winkelstein, MD

It will also improve the efficiency of those giving the care, especially those who must currently navigate more than one system to obtain the information they need. The “big data” gathered in this type of aggregate EMR will help us better understand the health challenges of our community as a whole and address them in a more proactive manner.

Underlying the lofty ambition of our vision statement, however, is a foundation of hard work and not a small amount of compromise. For a unified EMR to operate most effectively, all who view, input and extract data need to have as groundwork consistent workflows and procedures. Finding that common ground can be daunting when it comes to organizations that have enjoyed a high degree of autonomy in the past.

The journey to fulfill that vision statement is challenging. It cannot be accomplished by a small group of hard-working individuals. It will take all of us acting as a team to make GLIMR Expand a reality.

The improved health of our Western New York communities is the ultimate goal. I am confident that by working together we can arrive at that goal together. Thank you for your efforts, your compromises, and your willingness to work hard for a goal that is indeed “worth it.”

An essential ingredient in successful change efforts is having a robust change management network in place. See page 2 for roles and definitions of the change agents Great Lakes Health is empowering to help navigate our way to a newly integrated EMR. Page 3 highlights some of the advanced patient safety-enhancing features of the Clinical Performance Excellence solutions that went live on September 10. On page 4, we learn that interoperability is not just a desirable feature of integrated EMRs – it’s the law! Lastly, our population health executive sponsor, Mark Zygaj, reinforces the message we have tried to impart here: that transitioning to value-based health care requires the coordinated efforts of all our stakeholders.