January 19th, 2016

Keys to Successful System Implementation in Non-Clinical Healthcare

Implementing a new electronic system is a reality that health systems face every day. If your hospital is planning to make the transition to a new billing or coding system this year, here are a few tips to help your team get on board, while devising a successful education plan.

Identify the Key Players

Prior to implementation, identify the team members that will be affected by the change and start building awareness. Provide staff members with details on the changes that will be taking place, along with an understanding of how the transition will affect their day-to-day workflow. Make sure to identify key differences between what is currently documented on paper versus what will now be charted in the system. Work closely with your team to pinpoint any workflow gaps that may arise due to the change and determine solutions prior to the start of training.

In addition, be sure to identify the proper leadership that will take charge of escalating any issues to management during go-live. Beneficial leadership types include staff members in charge of IT issues, education issues, or compliance issues. Communicate to each leader which role they will fill and to whom they escalate issues. Provide your team with a printout of the contact information for each leader type for their reference once the implementation begins.

Take Advantage of Vendor and Super-User Presence

If a vendor is involved in the implementation, alert your staff of their presence, how they can be identified during go-live, and what type of questions would be most beneficial to direct towards their team versus your leadership. If your hospital plans to utilize super-users, familiarize your team with their role as well. It is important to take full advantage of vendor or super-user presence, as that is the reason they are onsite.

Educate Accordingly

When training your team, devise an education plan that addresses the needs of each type of user; keeping in mind that training should not be a “one size fits all” approach. Training will vary for staff members that simply take a “view-only” approach to the system versus an end-user that requires more intense training, such as those who verify the assignment of data codes. Within the education plan, consider the following:

  • Complete training no more than 4 weeks in advance from the go-live date. If possible, no more than 2 weeks in advance is ideal. You want the information to stay fresh in your users’ minds.
  • Training should provide an overall framework of the system first, allowing users to get comfortable with the navigation before moving into the more advanced portions.
  • Create simulation-based training, gearing training towards the users workflows, as opposed to the “point and click” approach. Users need to know how they will be utilizing the system on a day-to-day basis from start to finish. If time and budget permits, many users will find it beneficial to do a complete mock walk-through of day 1 with the system.
  • Evaluate the users at the completion of each training session to determine if any additional training is needed. Make sure to designate follow-up hours each week to account for this additional training.
  • Provide users with a quick reference guide that covers the basics of the system and items specific to their roles. Keep this to a one-page document or brochure type format and provide print outs for each user during go-live.

It is important to account for all of the system changes and have an understanding that there may initially be productivity losses. Implementing a new system is a huge undertaking and it is not without its faults. Remember to stay positive and keep a constant line of communication open between yourself and your team, as well as leadership, vendors, super-users, and most importantly, the patients! For an in-depth look at implementing ICD-10 coding, check out our mini white paper.



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