Applying requisite imagination to safeguard electronic health record transitions

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022 Apr 13;29(5):1014-1018. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab291.


Over the next decade, many health care organizations (HCOs) will transition from one electronic health record (EHR) to another; some forced by hospital acquisition and others by choice in search of better EHRs. Herein, we apply principles of Requisite Imagination, or the ability to imagine key aspects of the future one is planning, to offer 6 recommendations on how to proactively safeguard these transitions. First, HCOs should implement a proactive leadership structure that values communication. Second, HCOs should implement proactive risk assessment and testing processes. Third, HCOs should anticipate and reduce unwarranted variation in their EHR and clinical processes. Fourth, HCOs should establish a culture of conscious inquiry with routine system monitoring. Fifth, HCOs should foresee and reduce information access problems. Sixth, HCOs should support their workforce through difficult EHR transitions. Proactive approaches using Requisite Imagination principles outlined here can help ensure safe, effective, and economically sound EHR transitions.

Keywords: Requisite Imagination; change management; electronic health records; patient safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Hospitals*
  • Imagination