To succeed with your health information technology (HIT) software projects, you need to adopt a proven strategy. Whether you’re planning to develop a simple app or a more complex enterprise solution like an EHR system, adopting a strategic approach will increase the possibility of success.
So, how can you ensure that your HIT projects make patient care more effective, enhance communication among physicians, improve the security of patient records, and comply with government regulations?
1. Set Clear Objectives
Before you start making detailed plans, set clear and measurable goals. Get as many key players as possible involved in the process from the beginning. Let the physicians, laboratory staff, IT staff, and hospital administrators brainstorm on the main objectives of the project.
Consider the interest of all potential users during the goal-setting exercise. In some cases – like the design of a patient portal – you’ll need to get patients involved as well. All those who participate in the goal-setting process are more likely to work hard to ensure the project succeeds.
Some of an EHR system’s goals could be:
- To provide instant access to all vital patient information
- To implement e-prescriptions
- To create a patient portal for patients to book appointments online
- To send the results of medical examinations to patients through email
- To enable doctors to communicate with their patients online and improve follow up care
- To reduce the time doctors spend on documentation by 60%
2. Adopt Integrated Project Management
Many IT projects fail because of poor project management rather than inadequate technical skills. In addition to proper project management, you also need to use agile software project management and change management. When you integrate all three, you will raise the likelihood of success. Here’s what they offer you:
- Project Management: helps you deal with project scope, time, cost, quality, human management, procurement, and risk management
- Agile Software Development and IT Management: enables you to manage user requirements, workflow, software configuration, data migration, user interface, security, testing, infrastructure, and support
- Change Management: makes it easier to get all future users involved from the onset while motivating, training and transforming the way all users do their work with the new EHR system
3. Clearly Define the Scope of Work
Spend time defining the scope of the project. The project scope should contain a list of measurable goals, deliverables, important and desirable features, tasks, costs, and deadlines.
While you may need to review and modify the project scope, be aware that any modification could lead to a delay in completion time and an increase in cost. If you focus on fulfilling the most vital project requirements and you take all users’ workflows and recommendations into consideration during the planning phase, scope creep should not occur.
4. Work With HIT Specialists
Many CIOs know that they need to work with competent and reliable health information technology experts. But a major challenge occurs when they need to define the work that needs to be done by in-house IT staff and what needs to be handled by EHR experts and developers.
While it’s possible to assign tasks like training, user education, and other change management tasks to IT staff, it’s better to allow HIT specialists to handle data migration, network security, testing and other highly technical aspects of health care information systems.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
Do you want to discover how to complete all your organization’s health IT projects with ease? Call Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 for a free consultation today.