Examining the Differences Between Cerner Implementation and Optimization

Aug 29, 2016 3:39:55 PM · by David Kushan

A Cerner implementation can lead an organization toward greater efficiency, while Cerner optimization ensures that this efficiency is achieved. Although there can be some similarities between the two – like planning, budgeting, and engaging key stakeholders – implementation is focused more on building a system that works, while optimization seeks to engage with users to maximize the efficiency of the Cerner solution while lowering the friction of use.

It’s through optimization that an organization reaps the full benefits from the recently implemented Cerner platform. Accordingly, it’s important to look at optimization as a separate project with unique objectives, instead of as a mere continuation of the implementation process. By examining the differences between the two, healthcare organizations can gain a greater understanding of how to improve their existing system and achieve better overall results.

Optimization: Achieving Greater Efficiency

Implementation is about getting a system built and ready to go. Once this process is complete, the next step is to prepare for optimization, which is continuous system improvement designed to help end users become more efficient. It’s important not to confuse this with maintenance and ongoing support, which is more about keeping things stable and functioning as opposed to creating higher productivity among users.

Optimization also involves budgeting, planning, and allocating staff.  After an implementation, the use of the system on a day-to-day basis may bring unanticipated issues and scenarios to the surface. In some cases, an implemented Cerner platform changes physician workflows in ways that temporarily slows them down. Optimization can help to remedy such issues. It ensures the operation of the Cerner platform is streamlined and its full capabilities are leveraged, all in the service of improving productivity.

To get the greatest boost in efficiency, it’s often helpful to bring in third-party experts who have more experience with maximizing the utility of the system while correcting any issues. Adding a Cerner consultant for the optimization can also help free up internal resources for other projects.

[Related: Download "The Secret to Successful Cerner Optimization" Ebook]

Optimization: More Engagement with End-Users

The training in implementation is often about teaching users the basics of the system. Although some feedback may be gathered, it’s mostly a one-way process. During optimization, it’s essential to engage with end users and learn about what’s working well and what’s not. This involves gathering information from them through forums, workshops, and surveys.

The addition of an outside expert is valuable in ensuring this process leads to the intended results and the spread of best practices. Cerner software training specialists can also help to guide end-users toward advanced features that can help them get more done in less time. As part of this process, power users and “champions” or “coaches” among clinicians should be identified, and they should be empowered to propagate these successful approaches.

Optimization: Cultivate Relationships To Ensure Success

Relationship building is an important part of any project, but it’s particularly important as part of optimization. Working with department heads and executives to foster cooperation and understanding is the only way that the process will be successful.

Since department heads are in continual contact with end-users, maintaining an open dialogue with them is vital. Such relationships help optimization specialists to be aware of problems as well as the general sentiment about the Cerner application. This can help in getting ahead of potential challenges.

With executives, it’s imperative to convey that optimization is just as important as implementation in order to ensure continued buy-in. Even though the system appears to be up and running, without further efficiency and more advanced training of employees, the true value is unlikely to be realized. Better planning and early discussions about the benefits of optimization can make sure that sufficient resources are devoted to this important process.

Ready to move forward with a Cerner optimization project? Download our Guide today to learn the secret for success.

New Call-to-action

Oracle Cerner, Healthcare IT


Sign up for our blog.

Stay connected