Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition
Primary care physicians play a key role in the U.S. health care delivery system. These providers integrate internal and ...
Running head: Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition
Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition Edwin J. Ocasio National University HTM 660: System Management and Planning Submitted to Professor Susan Leonard November 15, 2014
Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition In 2011, Watson Community Association (WCH) board of directors decided to implement a system-wide electronic health record (EHR) and evaluate its clinics’ integrated EHR and Practice Management System that has been operational for four years. WCH is a 200-bed acute care facility that has strategically employed primary care providers in their eight specialty clinics to facilitate access for patients and provide a primary care patient source for specialist at the hospital. Current Situation The WCH specialty clinics’ current XYZ Data Systems Integrated EHR and Practice Management System was implemented based on the hospital’s Meditech platform and not on the physician needs and application functionality. Poor physician adoption and limited support from the hospital information technology (IT) department has led WCH leadership team to develop a strategic planning process to ensure the project’s success. The planning process will closely mimic the methodology of project management use to define the best combination of logically management processes, approaches, techniques, methods, and technologies through effective decision making and problem solving. Input and participation by every level of WCH‘s organization will be included in the planning, decision-making, and implementation activities needed to transition to the replacement EHR. Plan Strengths: Important Considerations The EHR plan included elements of project management that help ensure successful deployment of systems that involve people, processes, and changes to the culture of an organization. The first key factor was the inclusion of key stakeholders from each of the affect clinical areas in the planning and decision-making process of the transition. This process will
Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition assure the adaptation and support on the new the system that was not present with the previous implementations. The steering committee realized that it needed to establish an aggressive communication plan to manage multiple users and stakeholders while providing efficient means to solicit and receive feedback throughout the project. The communication plan provided the foundation for an objective process of the collecting requirements and defining the project scope and objectives. The project management methodology of establishing system requirements, planning the work, and identifying possible vendors facilitate the completion of the request for proposal (RFP) process. With the system requirements and objectives defined, it allow the acquisition team to complete the vendor review, evaluation, and selection process to ensure that the selected system will meet those requirements and integrate well with the current infrastructure. Plan Improvement and Rationale There are several other tools and techniques for collecting requirements that can be added or replace some of the group activities. The various groups should use formalize creative techniques such as brainstorming and idea mapping since they are already using a nominal group technique to rank and drill down to the needs of the organization as opposed to the individual. These techniques help generate and collect multiple ideas related to the project requirements and consolidate them into a single map to show conjoint ideas and processes that can now be considered. At this point, decisions should be made objectively by using a decision matrix that will provide a systematic approach for establishing the criteria to evaluate and rank each idea. The resulting requirements should be validated with the business and project objectives, included in the vendor selection process, and monitored throughout the rest of the implementation process.
Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition Single Vendor for Multiple Settings? The many advantages to maintaining a single vendor include reliability with seamless data flow, better workflow management, single point of issue resolution and fewer upgrades, single access point, and one contract with few vendor relationships to maintain. But there are a few risk that an organization must weigh in their decision to maintain a single vendor. The vendor may have an unbalanced mix of expertise in multiple HIT systems. Upgrades in an integrated architecture may require the entire system to be interrupted or down during the upgrade process. Many managers are concern with the “we are in” scenario of a single vendor approach and more skeptical on the system ability to be replaced or expanded. Conclusion The implementation of health information technology creates many challenges for every organization regardless of size, prominence, or level of sophistication. The process itself requires a culture shift and evaluation of its strategic goals and objectives. The technology will not bring those changes; people will. Watson Community Association applied sound project management methodology that involved its stakeholders at every phase of the process. They focus on the business needs and not the individual desires while including their most important assets – their personnel in the change process. The requirements were objectively developed, translated to work processes, and traced throughout the implementation by the vendor. Success can be achieved with the right approach and change in the organizational culture.
Watson’s Ambulatory EHR Transition References A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (5th ed.). (2013). Newtown Square, Pa.: Project Management Institute. Wager, K., & Lee, F. (2013). Health care information systems: A practical approach for health care management (Third ed., pp. 601-603). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.