The Epic Implementation Series
Leaders preparing for a multi-hospital Go-Live have to evaluate their support plans very carefully. Detailed departmental support gaps have to be identified in the many inpatient, HOD and ambulatory areas. Multiple command centers must be considered and a robust communication process has to be in place to ensure stakeholders are routinely updated.
Evaluating your Support Plans
Again, communication is critical and having end-user participation during the training and Go-Live phase is no exception. Real-time data is key and allows your team to make tactical decisions during Go-Live as to where support resources are needed most. This reduces the risk to patient safety but also encourages end-user adoption of your new Epic EMR.
Sustaining & Supporting Epic
It’s never too early to start thinking about the model that will be most effective and efficient in sustaining your electronic health record (EHR). It begins with understanding your current IT application support workflow and addressing the unique requirements of that same system post EHR Go-Live. Chances are your current model will need to be strengthened to ensure you meet user expectations and contain costs when support a complex patient-care driven enabling technology.
Most likely your Go-Live support model will entail a “super user” program with extensive training, but does it take into consideration the critical education of the current Tier I Help Desk? Remember if the super user is unable to resolve a user incident, escalating to or through the Tier I Help Desk should be a good experience for your user not a set back. Many traditional Tier I Help Desks can be strengthened with decision trees, tips and tricks and basic training to support efficient use of your user’s time as well as effective escalation for those calls they cannot resolve. Effective escalation is key to ensure efficient use of your valuable Application Support Team to include your Credentialed Trainers.
Always be sure to leverage your Help Desk “ticket” system data for analytics around root cause. This will assist you in determining how to improve not only the support process, but the user’s proficiency of the system (finding those opportunities to train) and the functionality of the system itself (if indeed you find aspects of your build that can be streamlined to lower the cost of maintenance).
Remember the three basic components, people, process and technology as you will find addressing these three factors relative to support, early in your implementation, will drive your ability to seamlessly transition from Go-Live to business as usual; realizing a cost efficient and high quality sustaining support model.