Managing Health Care Business Strategy
What elements (at least two) are missing from the action plan in Table
9.1 for the EMR system? Justify your choice
Piloting is a very important element which has been omitted from the action plan. Piloting helps to ensure that the vendor will supply a truly tested and proven system which is relevant to the organization. The risk of not piloting is too high given that a lot of money goes into acquiring such a system. Failure to pilot a system can lead to multiple challenges such as loss of funds in that, after procuring the system, most likely it will be a custom – made one and therefore in the event it malfunctions, the vendor might not accept it back since the specifications, coding and even the program used is tailor made for the organization which ordered for the EMR system and therefore the vendor cannot resell it.
Another problem associated with failure to pilot the system is the possible loss of data in that a malfunction if system is fully implemented without piloting will lead to difficulties if the system fails. Loss of man power hours is also a likely outcome of an EMR system which was not properly tested before implementation. Also employees are known to oppose changes especially those which touch on their work. EMR systems digitalize the records of an organization and therefore an EMR should be effective in providing the relevant information in as far as medical records are concerned (Moseley III & George, 2008). The EMR should function so well that all users in a medical set up should be able to access information with ease. This is only possible if employees get a chance to try the system way before it is implemented. This in turn creates an opportunity for the management and the vendors to receive feedback from the employees and deliver a final product which is not only user friendly but also one which will make the employees feel like they own it. Finally piloting serves to improve a system in that system bugs will be identified and fixed therefore the hospital will end up with a cost effective system.
Funding is very important in any system implementation process and this requires the involved stakeholders to budget for the project. It also calls for approval from the top management such as the organization’s board of directors. Indeed, many good plans in organizations end up unimplemented due to lack of funding or sometimes underfunding which can cause a project to stall even at its very final phase. Therefore the managers should ‘count cost’ before initiating an EMR project. The stalling of a project can cause conflicts in an organization, stemming from disillusioned employees. Sometimes this can lead to big losses in the future.
Project auditing which is also known as a preliminary needs analysis is a very crucial step which serves to give project credence. This also ensures that processes are done in a transparent manner. Since the auditing will answer questions such as; is the project important? Is it timely? Is it cost effective? And if it will add value to the organization, this is very important because it’s the auditing report can even cause the project to be dropped altogether.
Describe the activities that should be implemented to address the
For piloting activity, the system will have to be implemented in one department first before approval and subsequent application in the whole organization. Testing and piloting therefore need to happen so as to give a preview of what to expect upon project implementation. It will not be prudent to skip this stage/phase only to end up with a system installed but hat which cannot fulfill its intended purposes.
Describe where these activities would be added to the list (relative
to the other activities already listed).
The three activities can each be arranged with the help of a Gantt chart which serves to show what activities must be completed first before which others. In this case auditing or needs assessment should be the first step towards a successful implementation of an EMR. This is because the verdict given at this stage influences whether the EMR is necessary and profitable for the organization. Project piloting or testing will follow thereafter if the needs assessment of auditing gives a nod for the organization to implement fully the project. The second last step should be the piloting step which should happen just before full implementation.
Funding on the other hand ensures that enough finances and other resources are set aside to carry on the projection to completion. Without the EMR system being factored in the budget, it only means the project will not take off let alone starting.
Project auditing calls for a team of experts in a given area. The experts in EMR implementation offer a neutral stand point which is regarded with honor by many and therefore by allowing the auditing process, needs are identified and solutions suggested. This leads to a process that is smooth and devoid of avoidable errors.
Specify exactly which people from the hospitals and practice will
participate in these new activities and justify your choice.
The three additional activities suggested will need to be handled by experts in their respective fields. It is however worthy noting that in all steps of the project process, stakeholder identification and involvement is very crucial. Employees at various levels in the hospital are very important stakeholders and must be involved in the system design and implementation so that they may own it. Those who audit the EMR should be experts in the area as well as the managers in the relevant departments.
As for the funding the organization, the chief executive officer or the board must be involved because they are the one to authorize money to carry on the other phases. Finally piloting and testing needs to be done by two technical teams, one from the supplier and the order one representing the interest of the hospital. In conclusion, it is clear that despite the enormous advantages of an EMR system, its purchase and installation needs more than just consulting with the physicians; it as well requires careful considerations so that the resulting product is the best value for money.
Moseley III, George B. (2008) Managing Health Care Business Strategy. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.