When implementing MEDITECH 6.1x in acute and ambulatory environments, there are multiple phases to take into account. This blog series will provide some in-depth perspective on each phase to help you and your organization prepare as you begin to take the next steps towards implementation.
Our team has extensive experience in implementing new systems and we have broken the process down into 8 different phases. Today, we will be covering the “planning” phase as strategy and preparation are crucial to the success of any project. This phase typically takes 1-2 months to complete and it provides structure to your project.
Here are 5 key components to keep in mind:
- Scope: This component involves determining what is going to be done during project such as: what applications will be implemented and replaced, third party applications, integration, conversion, reporting and technical requirements. Finalizing scope during the planning phase provides a foundation for governance and team members to understand what to do and what not to do. If something is requested not within scope, then that would need to be handled by governance to approve that specific change.
- Governance: Developing a governance structure provides various layers of roles and responsibilities to abide by when making decisions. This structure includes committees, teams and resources that will be involved with the project. Governance must include senior leadership preferably a CMO or CMIO and the recommended executive sponsor should be physician or clinical and not a CIO. The executive oversight committee should include CEO, CNO, CMO, CMIO, CFO, CIO and Project Manager. Physician engagement in a project is extremely important and vital to its success. Additionally, we recommend that you create a Physician Advisory Group for the project and identify a Physician Sponsor.
- Guiding Principles: First, determine what principles are going to be utilized to provide overall structure and direction during a project. These are principles that will be leveraged by governance when making decisions. Examples of this are: integration is more important than best of breed, or 100% physician and nursing adoption of system.
- Resources: Identification of project team resources includes sponsors, core team leads, core team members, super users, trainers and go-live support. These are the resources that will execute the remaining phases of a project. Time allocation will be based on department and role and there will be various resources that will be dedicated to 100% of the project. You will need to determine how to backfill resources to support your legacy applications or operational processes. You should also determine third party consultant requirements that will be providing assistance to the project. MEDITECH requires organizations to utilize consultants for various READY levels and it’s important to understand roles and responsibilities within the organization, MEDITECH and consultant’s resources involved with the project.
- Project Documentation: The project charter document developed during planning phase includes the aforementioned components and provides authority to a project. Additional documents created during this phase includes project plan, communication plan and a RAID (risks, action items, issues and decisions) document. The project plan identifies tasks, dates, responsible resources and dependencies. The communication plan includes the various forms of communication to be utilized including weekly meetings and status reports and the RAID document will be used to track key items. It is important that these documents are approved by the project oversight committee.
We understand that this process is overwhelming on top of the daily challenges you experience. Our implementation work with many other hospitals across the country has helped us define best practices for projects of this scale. Our team is READY certified by MEDITECH to deliver Levels 1-4 and Pathway implementations for the 6.x platform so we can handle this transition effectively and efficiently.
If you are considering implementing a new system or upgrading your current MEDITECH environment, our team would be happy to provide specific insight depending on your needs and answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (855) 276-9112. We encourage you to subscribe to our blog to catch more insight on the remaining phases in this series on implementation.
About The Author:
Craig McCollum is AVP of Professional Services at Parallon Technology Solutions. In this role, he is responsible for implementation services and project delivery for PTS’ clients. Craig has more than 20 years of healthcare IT and finance experience, including practice leadership, business development, EHR project leadership, EHR implementation and financial management.
Craig is a member of Medical Users Software Exchange (MUSE) and Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Craig is MEDITECH READY certified in project management, general financials, supply chain management and human resources planning. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Fresno State University.