Trained in emergency medicine, Brian Patty, M.D., knows stress. So when he inherited a failed inpatient systems deployment, the chief medical informatics officer at St. Paul, Minn.-based HealthEast Care System didn't flinch. After an initial deployment in a new facility, displeased clinicians revolted against the technology, compelling HealthEast to temporarily yank the system of San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. from its three other hospitals. "HealthEast gave me carte blanche to build a new informatics department," Patty recalls. Beginning in December 2005, he built the department from scratch, growing it to 46 staff. Three years later, HealthEast has automated its nursing documentation, is underway with CPOE at three hospitals, and half-way through a bedside bar code project - using the same technology it nearly surrendered. His trick: "Classic change management."

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