Out-Patient EHR Upgraded to Meet Meaningful Use Requirements


PROJECT BACKGROUND

In compliance with healthcare regulations, and more specifically the HITECH Act, a comprehensive non-profit medical center decided to implement an upgraded version of their electronic health record (EHR) system. The upgrade would achieve the Act’s objective to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. The medical center set a specific go-live date with hopes of meeting requirements for the current reporting period.

THE CHALLENGE

With an established go-live date, the medical center was pressured to have all aspects of the EHR upgrade completed within five months. IPM was engaged to provide project management services to finalize planning and lead the execution of the upgrade.

IPM’S SOLUTION

Upon on-boarding to the role of Project Manager, IPM analyzed the schedule and scope of the project to confirm its viability, then prioritized the risks and developed mitigation plans in conjunction with project stakeholders. In addition, a communication plan was developed with detailed requirements including owners, objectives, and communication vehicles.

To ensure that all users had proper training of the software, IPM facilitated contract negotiations with a third party organization to provide on-site instructional courses and support for all users. A robust end-user training strategy was developed and executed that included multiple classes over a two week period. IPM coordinated training times and locations for several hundred users including providers and clinical staff.

IPM developed and executed a detailed support plan to capture and resolve issues associated with the upgrade. The plan utilized existing IT systems and processes and included instructions to train a select group of clinical software users to effectively collect issues and communicate solutions.

In preparation for the upgrade, a comprehensive go-live plan detailed, on a minute-by-minute basis, the specific tasks associated with the upgrade, taking care to minimize disruption of out-patient office hours. In addition, IPM led the development of a go-live communication plan and issue mitigation plan to minimize risks during the go-live weekend.

PROJECT RESULTS

The medical center’s EHR upgrade was a success.

  • The upgrade was completed by the date identified in the original schedule, affecting 32 out-patient practices and over 450 end users.
  • Training was conducted just prior to go-live to maximize its effect with the application.
  • Disruptions to operations during and immediately after the go-live period were negligible, and identified issues were resolved in a timely manner.