Ethical Healthcare’s electronic patient record (EPR) Domain Lead, Jennifer Dunne, has used her extensive experience of EPR procurement and implementation to write a 6-step guide to support those on their EPR journey.  

In step 1, Jennifer discusses the importance of developing a user-centred EPR strategy.  


Step 1: Strategy 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, the adoption of technology has become imperative to enhance patient care, streamline processes, and improve overall efficiency.  

Among these technological advancements, the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) stands out as a critical component in revolutionising healthcare delivery. However, devising the right EPR strategy is pivotal, as it significantly influences the rest of the programme.  

Strategic foundations 

The Strategic Outline Case (SOC) and Outline Business Case (OBC) serve as foundational documents that lay the groundwork for the EPR strategy. These documents not only outline the project objectives and benefits but also assess its feasibility and affordability.  

Failing to adequately consider these aspects can have dire consequences for the entire programme. The wrong EPR strategy may result in significant financial burdens, failed implementation, and most importantly, diminished patient care.  

User-centred design 

One of the key components that must be integrated into the EPR strategy is a user-centred design approach. Understanding the needs, workflows, and challenges faced by healthcare professionals and staff is essential for successful adoption and utilisation of the EPR system. By actively involving end-users from various departments and roles, the implementation team can configure a solution that aligns with their requirements, leading to a more seamless transition and reduced resistance to change.  

A user-centred EPR strategy not only enhances system acceptance but also improves patient outcomes. With healthcare professionals having a say in the design process, the EPR system becomes more intuitive, reducing the likelihood of errors and facilitating more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. The efficient flow of patient information across different departments, and the wider system, ensures a holistic approach to healthcare, promoting collaboration and interdisciplinary care.  


Apart from being user-centred, the affordability of the EPR strategy is a crucial consideration. Developing a comprehensive EPR system can be a substantial financial investment for any healthcare organisation.  

However, the long-term benefits in terms of improved efficiency, reduced paperwork, and enhanced patient care make it a worthwhile venture. The SOC and OBC should meticulously evaluate costs, benefits, and potential risks to ensure the chosen EPR strategy aligns with the organisation’s financial capabilities.  

The importance of benefits specialists 

A fundamental aspect often overlooked in EPR implementation is the team behind it. Experienced benefits specialists play a pivotal role in shaping the success of the programme. These individuals possess the expertise to analyse the strategic and financial aspects of the project and communicate its benefits effectively. They bridge the gap between the technical team and healthcare professionals, ensuring that the EPR system meets both clinical and operational needs.  

Benefits specialists not only help in formulating a viable EPR strategy but also provide ongoing support throughout the implementation and adoption process. Their guidance and leadership contribute to minimising resistance to change and maximising the realisation of benefits, leading to a more successful EPR programme overall.  

In conclusion, the EPR strategy sets the tone for the entire EPR programme, and getting it right is crucial for the success of any healthcare organisation’s digital transformation.  

Embracing a user-centred design approach and evaluating the affordability of the chosen strategy are indispensable steps. A comprehensive analysis of the strategic and financial aspects, along with the expertise of skilled resources, ensures a smoother transition and increased likelihood of realising the promised benefits.  

By carefully considering all these factors and creating a robust EPR strategy, healthcare organisations can truly unlock the potential of digital capabilities to improve patient care, optimise processes, and transform the healthcare industry into a more efficient, patient-centric domain.  


Follow our blog, LinkedIn and Twitter pages for the next steps in Jennifer’s 6-step guide to electronic patient record (EPR) procurement and implementation. 


Get in touch 

If you’d like to discuss your EPR strategy with Jennifer, contact her on