Saturday, February 23, 2008

Electronic Health Records for Non-owned doctors - Managing the project

As I've indicated in my blog about managing IT projects and managing consulting engagements projects do not manage themselves. Although we've put together a remarkable partnership of vendors and service providers for our Electronic Health Record for non-owned doctors project, it's all wrapped in $1 million dollars of project management, coordination and "air traffic control". The geographically dispersed set of independent physician practices makes the project that much harder to manage. Our partners for this project are

eClinicalWorks - a leading provider of practice management and CCHIT certified electronic health records, accessible over the internet using a smart web client, from anywhere in the world. They will provide the software, training, and review of all our infrastructure designs.

Concordant - a leading provider of desktop, network, and server hosting services for clinician offices throughout our region. They will provide the hosting center for our Software as a Service (SaaS) EHR applications, operate our help desk, and deploy all our hardware to clinician offices.

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative - our regional implementer of electronic health records with expertise in practice transformation. They will provide the practice consulting expertise to move clinicians from paper-based workflows to electronic systems.

Third Brigade
- a leading provider of security, ethical hacking and host-based intrusion protection services. They will ensure we protect the privacy of patient records, since confidentiality is foundational to the entire project.

My internal staff, consisting of a Project Director, Project Manager, Project Coordinator, and design engineer will coordinate all the work done by our partners, design the model office/ideal configurations for the entire rollout, and manage the budget. Our first 4 pilot sites will go live this Summer and by Fall we will have gained enough experience that we'll refine our project plans and management oversight to be the equivalent of a "Starbucks franchising model." We expect that this model will enable us to choose a practice and then 6 weeks later have them fully up and running with hardware, software supplied from our central hosting facility, training, data conversions and interfaces. Being able to rollout practices in this timeframe, leveraging economies of scale, and using our partners most efficiently will result (we hope) in low cost and high customer satisfaction, since we'll do all the work with a minimum amount of wasted effort.

My experience with a project of this complexity is that a few additional months spent planning, project managing, and piloting will improve the quality of the project immensely and ultimately reduce our costs. The expense of doing the project twice to get it right far exceeds an investment in project management to get it right the first time. As we develop our "Starbucks franchise" Gantt charts, I'll post them, so all can see the critical path items that are being managed for each practice site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Personal Health Records allows patient to provide doctors with valuable health information that can help improve the quality of care that patient receives. Personal Health Records can help to reduce or eliminate duplicate tests and allow you to receive faster, safer treatment and care in an emergency and helps to play a more active role in yours and your loved ones’ healthcare.