"You can ask physicians to look up results on a computer, but if you're trying to install an electronic record or order entry system, you must have a physician I.T. champion-it's not worth it to even try without one," says Melinda Costin, vice president of implementation services at Houston-based HealthLink Inc., a consulting firm.
Then you may have the makings of a physician information technology champion, says Melinda Costin, vice president of implementation services at Houston-based Healthlink Inc., a consulting firm.
"If you have a physician who is complaining about the clinical I.T. tools they're using, then you have the makings of an I.T. champion," she
"If you have a champion who is using a computer all the time, they have forgotten the phobia that most doctors have," Costin
"They lose that understanding of what it's like to fear a computer.
says effective physician I.T. champions often share a few traits:
• They are practicing physicians who will use the technology themselves.
"A doctor who is no longer practicing loses some legitimacy with other physicians when it comes to I.T. implementations," she
• They are personable and can communicate well with their peers even in tense situations.
"A champion has to be able to listen to complaints-and be able to recognize valid ones-but always communicate with a smile on their face," Costin
"They should be someone that others are compelled to follow, or at least listen to."
• They do not think they are the only one capable of leading a project.
"Physician I.T. champions must be self-confident but they shouldn't be the kind of people who think they, and only they, can tackle an implementation," Costin