Staff Resource Development Is Key To A Successful System Conversion

Mar 6, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by Dave Wolfe

In the white paper entitled Healthcare System Conversions – Key Points To Consider, we outlined three types of conversions (System Upgrade, New Platform/Same Vendor, and New Platform/New Vendor) and five points to consider when planning for a system conversion.  

(Click Here To Download)

This article reviews the points to consider for Staff Resource Deployment for each type of conversion. Your organization must clearly define the resources needed to be assigned to the conversion or upgrade project. All three types of conversions have similar staffing requirements, but there are specific points to consider for each type of conversion.

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Staff Resource Deployment

Version Upgrade

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 The level of support needed varies from upgrade to upgrade. The vendor will provide documentation outlining what is available in the upgrade and provide a test plan to validate the new functionality and/or break-fixes. 

  • Role of Vendor
    • Advisor – content expert and to assist with issues found in testing of the upgrade.
    • Tester – vendor provides support in the testing of the upgrade.
  • Hospital staff employees
    • Assign a team of stakeholders to review the content of the upgrade
      • Clearly understand the content and what functionality will be implemented at your organization.
    • Identify the resources needed (FTE analysis) and assign the individuals to the respective tasks.
  • Outside professional resources
    • Based on the FTE analysis, if additional resources are needed to support testing, for example, identify the skill set required and match the resource with this need.

New Platform/Same Vendor 

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A slightly different staff resource allocation is required for a conversion to a new platform with the same vendor. 

  • Role of Vendor – depending on how the vendor is structured, different vendor resources may be required to support your current platform than those required to support the new platform. (For example, the Invision vendor consultants may be different than the Soarian vendor consultants.)
    • Current platform/application
      • Advisor/Support – maintaining the current platform, assisting with daily issues. “Help desk” or ticket escalation support.
    • New platform/application
      • Advisor – the system expert that helps to navigate your through the build, testing, and implementation of the new platform
      • Builder/Tester – vendor provides support in the build and testing of the new platform.
  • Hospital staff employees – Just as with the vendor role, the hospital must delineate who will support the current platform and who will support the build and testing of the new platform. This requires an FTE analysis to clearly identify 
    • Current platform/application
      • Assign the staff that will be required to support the current platform and daily operations.
    • New platform/application
      • Define the skill set needed to train, build, test, and implement the new platform.
      • Schedule training for these individuals.
      • In collaboration with the vendor, define the time and resource requirements to successfully implement the new solution.
  • Outside professional resources
    • Based on the FTE analysis, engage with outside resources as required.
      • Staff augmentation – supporting the current application and/or supporting the build, testing, and implementation of the new platform
      • Consulting SME (subject matter expertise) – experienced consultants who have implemented the new platform at other clients help you define the right questions to ask of the vendor and provide best practice solutions.

New Platform/New Vendor

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  • Role of Vendor – Very similar to the New Platform/New Vendor scenario, but now you have to interface with two vendors and representatives from each of the platforms. For example, Siemens Soarian vendor consultants and Cerner Millennium consultants. Clearly understanding the level of support from each is required for a successful transition. There may be a different level of support from the new vendor than was realized from the current vendor.
    • Current platform/application
      • Advisor/Support – maintaining the current platform, assisting with daily issues. “Help desk” or ticket escalation support.
    • New platform/application
      • Advisor – the system expert that helps to navigate your through the build, testing, and implementation of the new platform
      • Builder/Tester – vendor provides support in the build and testing of the new platform.
  • Hospital staff employees – Just as with the vendor role, the hospital must delineate who will support the current platform and who will support the build and testing of the new platform.  This requires an FTE analysis to clearly identify the needs.
    •  Current platform/application
      • Assign the staff that will be required to support the current platform and daily operations.
    • New platform/application
      • Define the skill set needed to train, build, test, and implement the new platform.
      • Schedule training for these individuals.
      • In collaboration with the vendor, define the time and resource requirements to successfully implement the new solution.
  • Outside professional resources
    • Based on the FTE analysis, engage with outside resources as required.
      • Staff augmentation – supporting the current application and/or supporting the build, testing, and implementation of the new platform
      • Consulting SME (subject matter expertise) – experienced consultants who have implemented the new platform at other clients help you define the right questions to ask of the vendor and provide best practice solutions.
      • Ideally engaging with one firm that has a team of consultants with experience with both the current platform and the new platform.

Regardless of the type of conversion that you organization is embarking on, collaboration of vendor, hospital staff, and outside resources is key to success.

 CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs with HealthcareIS.

Dave Wolfe

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