After having helped clients implement electronic records and health IT software for over 10 years, I’ve noticed many practices wait too long when issues come up during implementation. When an issue arises, they do not take action. For some reason, client project teams either think that the implementation issue will go away or think that somehow it’s not as important as it really is. Inevitably, issues will come up during the implementation and no matter who your vendor is, it is important to communicate with them in a timely manner. Implementation issues are part of your contract with a vendor. By waiting, an issue can build up into a workflow or technological disruption. The situation can get out of hand so that it is more difficult to resolve later on in the process.
One key strategy for timely response is to hold weekly status meetings with your vendor. In these meetings, you can discuss items such as problems that have come up the past week, the status of issues that have been unresolved thus far, and if the implementation is still adhering to the projected schedule.
Remember, the software vendor is as interested in issues and problems during implementation as you are. The vendor is contractually responsible and financially concerned about timely implementation and training. Another key consideration is team dynamics. In addition to any issues that you are having with the vendor, you should also solicit any issues they are having with your team. Sometimes vendors are hesitant to point out issues on the client side, as you are paying them for their software. However, it is important to note problems and issues that are coming up on each side, so that you can resolve them as they occur.
Ultimately, by taking care of problems and issues as they occur, you can guarantee a much smoother and successful software implementation.
Michael Uretz is a thirty-year healthcare IT veteran and nationally-recognized Electronic Health Records (EHR) and healthcare software expert.