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Running head: Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition

Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition


Edwin J. Ocasio
National University
HTM 660: System Management and Planning
Submitted to Professor Susan Leonard
November 15, 2014

Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition


Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition
In 2011, Watson Community Association (WCH) board of directors decided to implement
a system-wide electronic health record (EHR) and evaluate its clinics integrated EHR and
Practice Management System that has been operational for four years. WCH is a 200-bed acute
care facility that has strategically employed primary care providers in their eight specialty clinics
to facilitate access for patients and provide a primary care patient source for specialist at the
hospital.
Current Situation
The WCH specialty clinics current XYZ Data Systems Integrated EHR and Practice
Management System was implemented based on the hospitals Meditech platform and not on the
physician needs and application functionality. Poor physician adoption and limited support from
the hospital information technology (IT) department has led WCH leadership team to develop a
strategic planning process to ensure the projects success. The planning process will closely
mimic the methodology of project management use to define the best combination of logically
management processes, approaches, techniques, methods, and technologies through effective
decision making and problem solving. Input and participation by every level of WCHs
organization will be included in the planning, decision-making, and implementation activities
needed to transition to the replacement EHR.
Plan Strengths: Important Considerations
The EHR plan included elements of project management that help ensure successful
deployment of systems that involve people, processes, and changes to the culture of an
organization. The first key factor was the inclusion of key stakeholders from each of the affect
clinical areas in the planning and decision-making process of the transition. This process will

Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition


assure the adaptation and support on the new the system that was not present with the previous
implementations. The steering committee realized that it needed to establish an aggressive
communication plan to manage multiple users and stakeholders while providing efficient means
to solicit and receive feedback throughout the project. The communication plan provided the
foundation for an objective process of the collecting requirements and defining the project scope
and objectives. The project management methodology of establishing system requirements,
planning the work, and identifying possible vendors facilitate the completion of the request for
proposal (RFP) process. With the system requirements and objectives defined, it allow the
acquisition team to complete the vendor review, evaluation, and selection process to ensure that
the selected system will meet those requirements and integrate well with the current
infrastructure.
Plan Improvement and Rationale
There are several other tools and techniques for collecting requirements that can be added
or replace some of the group activities. The various groups should use formalize creative
techniques such as brainstorming and idea mapping since they are already using a nominal group
technique to rank and drill down to the needs of the organization as opposed to the individual.
These techniques help generate and collect multiple ideas related to the project requirements and
consolidate them into a single map to show conjoint ideas and processes that can now be
considered. At this point, decisions should be made objectively by using a decision matrix that
will provide a systematic approach for establishing the criteria to evaluate and rank each idea.
The resulting requirements should be validated with the business and project objectives, included
in the vendor selection process, and monitored throughout the rest of the implementation
process.

Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition


Single Vendor for Multiple Settings?
The many advantages to maintaining a single vendor include reliability with seamless
data flow, better workflow management, single point of issue resolution and fewer upgrades,
single access point, and one contract with few vendor relationships to maintain. But there are a
few risk that an organization must weigh in their decision to maintain a single vendor. The
vendor may have an unbalanced mix of expertise in multiple HIT systems. Upgrades in an
integrated architecture may require the entire system to be interrupted or down during the
upgrade process. Many managers are concern with the we are in scenario of a single vendor
approach and more skeptical on the system ability to be replaced or expanded.
Conclusion
The implementation of health information technology creates many challenges for every
organization regardless of size, prominence, or level of sophistication. The process itself
requires a culture shift and evaluation of its strategic goals and objectives. The technology will
not bring those changes; people will. Watson Community Association applied sound project
management methodology that involved its stakeholders at every phase of the process. They
focus on the business needs and not the individual desires while including their most important
assets their personnel in the change process. The requirements were objectively developed,
translated to work processes, and traced throughout the implementation by the vendor. Success
can be achieved with the right approach and change in the organizational culture.

Watsons Ambulatory EHR Transition


References
A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (5th ed.). (2013). Newtown Square, Pa.: Project
Management Institute.
Wager, K., & Lee, F. (2013). Health care information systems: A practical approach for health care
management (Third ed., pp. 601-603). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.