While transitioning to an electronic medical record focuses much attention on technology, a successful transition is about people.
At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the recent go-live of PowerKIDS, the electronic clinical documentation system, highlighted the important contributions of people like Scott Elsbernd, BSN, RN, staff nurse, 7940 epilepsy unit, Children’s – St. Paul. Elsbernd was one of more than 250 nurses who worked as unit-level super users, champion super users, or education super users during the transition to PowerKIDS.
As a unit-level super user, Elsbernd acted as a PowerKIDS ambassador, encouraging and assisting his colleagues before, during, and after the go-live. “Before go-live, there were a number of nurses who were uneasy about it. One of the highlights for me was convincing several of those who were most worried to become super users so they could get extra training,” he says.
He remembers well the challenges of go-live, from helping medical/surgical units 4200 and 4100 prepare for an unscheduled downtime, to serving as an extra set of hands as colleagues cared for a child in respiratory distress. “During go-live it just takes longer to get into a routine, so sometimes I would back up nurses on patient care as they caught up with their documentation,” says Elsbernd. “It wouldn’t matter how well the go-live went if our patients weren’t safe.”
Elsbernd says that he has a knack for being able to relate well to a wide variety of people — and that has served him well as a super user. “People tell me I am a calming influence. But I have had many good mentors. I feel that I can fit into any group and I’ve learned to say the same things to different people in different ways.”