Why are new EMR projects still called "Pilots"?

Jan. 3, 2012
My last EMR project was classified as a “pilot” EMR for 3-4 physician offices.

My last EMR project was classified as a “pilot” EMR for 3-4 physician offices. As I sat through the initial brief of the scope I wondered at what point will EMR’s not be considered a pilot project? Given the market penetration, the massive amount of testimonials, and the physician acceptance, wouldn’t you think we are ready to confidently undertake this type of project? I get the impression that the term “pilot” is often used to cover all bases. In case of project failure, we can always say it was just a “pilot.” The reality is that the use of this term conveys the impression that this is not a widely adopted system, or that it may not be implemented across the enterprise. We have to see how the “pilot” goes, before we can fully commit for the rest of the organization. This may seem like a politically conservative approach, but the reality is that it sends the wrong message to those outside the organization’s political circle. If it feels like an experiment, then those wanting to find fault will look at issues as failure points. Set the vision, let the organization know the direction and storm the EMR hill.

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