Best Practices in Project Management
Earlier this month, you were in Las Vegas exploring the best that healthcare information technology has to offer. You spoke with a wide variety of experts, suppliers, and providers. Each likely shared a version of the same narrative: “Every project we work on is different and every client is special.”
For HCTec, that is true as well—every project is unique and certainly, we deeply value each client relationship. But one thing remains constant in the evolving world of HIT—the need for best-in-class project management and leadership.
Your specific initiative may be an electronic medical record (EMR) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation, an upgrade to a new system or module, or perhaps ongoing optimization of your current system. HCTec has completed these types of large-scale projects for approximately 250 major hospital networks from academic medical centers to critical access facilities. And we have learned quite a few lessons for best practices in project management, no matter the size or focus of your initiative:
Key Resource Components
- Resources with deep experience with your environment, modules, and systems are a must-have.
- Project leadership managers must be on site to drive change, build consensus and effectively communicate with all levels of leadership act as an extension of your internal team.
- Experts equipped to meet aggressive timelines by fully understanding the resources needed to make key deliverables and milestones must also possess the historical experience to avoid common pitfalls.
Project Status Measurement
- Assembling a Core Team of schedule, risk, and issues management analysts closely coordinated will keep your project in green status. Critical areas to include for system design and build are: Ambulatory, Analytics, Inpatient, Patient Access and Revenue Cycle, Technical, and Testing and Training.
- The Core Team works closely with several workgroups representing physicians, nursing, revenue cycle, and many other disciplines to ensure success across the enterprise.
- The Core Team also will work very closely with subject matter experts from across the health care system to ensure the design will meet the needs of the end users and the budget has enough flex to anticipate risks and accommodate minimal in-flight design changes.
Change Management Support
- The Change Management team helps individuals transition through change and adopt new practices so that the organization can bring about impactful business benefits.
- Prime those teams with change benefit information so that they clearly articulate:
- Why the future state is better for patients and the health system
- Improvements in workflows and information availability
- How the team will help your staff learn new skills and knowledge.
I hope your time in Las Vegas was productive and enlightening. Now that you are full of fresh ideas, be sure to visit HCTec’s Resource Center to obtain valuable information and best practices from our work with leading healthcare systems as you embark on future endeavors.