There is an incredible amount of work that goes into an EHR implementation. With no shortage of tasks and milestones, delivering a healthcare IT solution (such as MEDITECH) to a large health organization is a feat that requires extensive coordination and effective communication. One of the most powerful tools to this end, especially at the tail end of the implementation phase (roll-out and adoption), is a dedicated communication channel for the MEDITECH Go-Live. Some circles refer to this as a “War Room,” and it may be prudent to invoke this kind of on-demand support in other phases of healthcare technology delivery as well. But especially when a large hospital is making a cut-over and has set a date for launching MEDITECH (be it from scratch or to support a hefty upgrade), it’s vital to get the right people in the same room should something go wrong. (Because it will.)
Get All The Vendors At The Table For Go-Live Support
Perhaps one of the biggest risks when it comes to implementing EHR solutions like MEDITECH is that you’re rarely rolling out technology in a bubble. There are third-party dependencies/integrations, peripheral technologies impacted, network infrastructure in play, and many more variables that you can’t assume will behave perfectly in the face of change. And despite all the best QA and performance in pre-production environments, something magical (to put it lightly) happens when you’re live in Prod. Without fail.
By engaging all the vendors for the overall technology stack for a health system during MEDITECH Go-Live, you minimize the risk that a critical, blocking component won’t be resolvable during the designated period to continue forward momentum. A roll-back in the midst of Go-Live is just about the worst outcome for an EHR implementation project team. In many cases, it’s not an option.
Keep The Line Open For Real-Time Implementation Support
Creating your War Room doesn’t have to be overly complicated:
- Find a small office or conference room,
- Launch a web-ex (be sure dial-in only is an option and provide international numbers as applicable),
- Communicate the conference info to everyone you expect to be on,
- Hang on!
Set Expectations For Showing Up to Go-Live Early On
This solution can be incredibly powerful for remaining agile during Go-Live, but you aren’t going to get the buy-in and support you expect if it wasn’t communicated early and often: WHO is expected to join the support call; WHEN they need to be available (in total); and HOW you expect them to show up.
Want the developers who built the solution to be online? Make that explicit.
Need the hosted solution partner to have a rep join the conference call? Let them know and make sure it’s on their calendar too.
Expect a local/on-site IT resource for network troubleshooting all day? Better make the ask and know who is going to take responsibility day-of.
Expecting this type of “all hands on deck” support isn’t reasonable as a last-minute request. If this is an expectation from the Project Manager (and we would argue that it should be), then communication as such is vital. Otherwise, you’re rolling the dice. And that rarely ends well.
Keep A Level Head When Issues Arise During Meditech Go-Live
I didn’t say, “If.” I said, “When.” Expect the unexpected. All those platitudes apply here. The more you can anticipate challenges and surprises, and the more your team can collectively persevere with level heads and egos in check, the better chances you can deliver a working solution with minimal disruption and heartburn. Pointing the finger is rarely productive at this stage. (Save that for your post mortem analysis.)
Keep a running list of issues, prioritized by importance, ensure every item has an owner, and work the list. You can’t solve everything immediately, so focus on the most critical needs to unblock efforts and keep working as a team until they are all checked off and the EHR is official released to the wild.