May 2017

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« CanadianEMR Star Ratings will replace 'EMR User Experiences' | Main | Variations in Clinical Adoption of IT Amongst Physician Specialties »


Michelle Greiver

As one of the participants, I echo your comments.

To me, being a peer leader (I would prefer Early EMR Adopter) means having done it, and worked out some of the inevitable bugs. We can help our colleagues.

Good characteristics are being approachable, not using jargon, being a good listener, being able to help your colleagues figure out solutions that work for them. It can be very challenging to start EMR, and it does help to talk to someone who has done it, who is (reasonably) happy with it, and who will listen to you and help.

I think that this is what they were looking for, and I saw that in evidence when talking to others at that meeting.

The problem will be how to use us effectively without burning us out; there are not a lot per province.


Roger Hamilton

I work in Nova Scotia and part of the ‘rollout’ of the EMR is based on peer support. Each clinic has designated peer support people. I think some characteristics include being available informally (quick questions) and formally ( prebooked group reviews). I think peers should try to be application neutral in the selection stage. It is important for peer supporters to reflect some of the regional issues that will arise (requisitions, DI and LAB issues) contrasted with vendor ideas.. I have found some users find the financial ‘risk’ of EMR a challenge and others attracted to clinical outcomes. Being able to recognize those user traits is important to help with successful EMR launch. It is hard but necessary not to be a ‘super user’ when supporting peers. For good peer support, facilitating change when the user is comfortable works well for our group.

Eric Paradis

As one of the participant too, I have some comments.

I think that a peer leader is someone that had experience with EMR. Had worked with at least one or more companies, and had developed different strategies for adoption with his collegues.

Can show direct benefits for particular medical practices. Must be very concrete and simple, not a techie guy. He can demonstrate and adapt different strategies for different practices. He must listen and propose step by step progression that is adaptative.

He had to be a reference for his collegues, in terms of experience and leadership.

A big contract...

Éric Paradis MD

Terry Chang MD

I speak on behalf of a large majority of physicians (age 45 - 60)that recognize the benefit of EMR's and are planning to take the plunge, hopefully in the near future (6 - 24 months). I also have been participating in Dr. Alan Brookstone's initiatives in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to nurture and raise up leaders or champions of ehealth that will help faciltiate the widespread uptake of the EMR in our region. Clearly the early adopters are a smaller and elite group who usually have the aptitude, skills and/or training needed to implement a technological infrastructure of this magnitude. But I also know that the average physician does not have that expertise and will need to be brought along with adequate backup, training/education and reassurance. The peer leaders will need to understand the considerable gap in knowledge between the early and later adopters so that the newbies are not overwhelmed or "talked down to". One bad experience can really damage or subvert the momentum we are starting to build.

Allan Horii

One of the challenges facing peer leaders will be dealing with the complaints and criticisms from frustrated and disgruntled physicians when the inevitable "hiccups" occur during EMR implementation. Physician leaders must accept that their position makes them a natural lightning rod for anger if the transition to electronic records is not a relatively smooth one, and would be well-advised to develop a "thick skin" early on.

A. J. Kirshen

I wasn't at the September meeting - didn't know about it and, if I did, wouldn't have gone. There is little yet another meeting will do to help develop the field to where it needs to have been 10 years ago and which, I anticipate, it will be 10 years hence.

I applaud the creation of a rating system but, again, fear 'quis custodiat ipsos custodes' will diminish its usefulness.

EHR is truly in its infancy, folks. A long way before we get to helping users implement it we need to get to where the technology is supposed to be.

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