This is one in a series of blog posts discussing Divurgent’s 2014 IT Organization Best Practice Study. To view earlier blogs from this series, click here.
Health systems are rapidly acquiring physician offices. This rapid pace of acquisition is putting pressure on IT resources as the organization pushes to move these practices, as quickly and as efficiently as possible, to a standard ambulatory solution. This requires:
- Good planning
- Development of a repeatable process
- Access to an appropriate number of knowledgeable resources
- Strong governance process
At the forefront, is getting an efficient model for rollout to small, geographically disbursed offices. The best practice identified was standardizing the build by specializing and streamlining the deployment process by allowing little, if any, changes to the standard build. In addition, a strategy to consolidate physician offices into multi-specialty multiple office builds (MOB’s) and obtaining revenue from ancillary services positioned in those facilities is also being pursued.
This process requires continued IT investment, especially in acquiring and maintaining staff. An important role to consider is a business development professional that can both negotiate contracts and coordinate deployment. Getting a practice to the point where implementation of the ambulatory solution can start can be complicated and time consuming.
Once implementation can start, successful organizations have used two teams. One team to manage the implementation and a second team to provide support after implementation. The implementation team needs strong support from other teams within IT:
- The IT network needs to be extended to the new location
- End user devices need to be deployed
- Informaticists are needed to assist in workflow and documentation issues.
While physicians and their staff can be expected to handle personalization of the application, post-implementation will require continued and quick responses to support issues to ensure user acceptance of the application.
Successful rollouts of the ambulatory solutions are accomplished through strong governance. A governance process is needed to manage the content of the standard build, respond to requests from physicians for changes to the standard build, and to manage the deployment schedule. A stable deployment schedule is needed for the team to effectively coordinate the other IT resources not directly under their control. Successful organizations typically used the CMIO, in conjunction with a governance group with strong physician representation, to drive standardization and the deployment timeline.
SEE WHAT CIOs ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS TOPIC
“For a new office we give them a document that asks for scheduling preferences. From start to finish it is a 6-8 week implementation cycle with 2 additional weeks of elbow-support. “
“We put an advisory committee [consisting of physicians] together and they determined the implementation schedule. They [the physicians] saw the schedule and timeline and if they argued, it was against themselves not with IT.”
“There is standardization based on the type of practice. For example, a primary care office gets the primary care mode. We cannot support doing a unique way. We keep it standardized.”
The topic of the next blog entry will be Standardizing the PMO Will Improve Project Success
To hear more about our study, please contact Divurgent at info.divurgent.com