10 Tips for a Successful Healthcare IT Project Implementation

Richard 'RJ' Kedziora
Richard Kedziora

Guest post by Richard Kedziora, CIO/COO of Estenda Solutions, Inc.

Today’s healthcare system is becoming progressively technology dependent. With the need to meet meaningful use requirements, convert to ICD-10, or work with health information exchanges (HIEs), healthcare organizations must have effective IT solutions, but building and implementing one successfully is not an easy task.

Below is a list of 10 fundamentals of successful healthcare IT project implementation, management and execution that will help your organization, whether clinical, business, or IT, design and develop a functional, patient-centered IT solution that fits its needs. It’s easy to let the highly technical elements overwhelm healthcare IT projects, but following these guidelines will help your team focus on the delivery of care.

Plan

Develop your plan with a detailed project introduction, clear scope, deliverables, schedules, project methodology, roles and responsibilities, and change management procedures. Consult ISO 9001/13485/62385 for information on best practices for quality management systems.

Healthcare IT projects involve a lot of moving parts and many people from different professional backgrounds. Setting clear expectations that every project member agrees on will ensure a project runs efficiently. Meeting regulatory requirements, including meaningful use goals, is a crucial aspect of carrying out a successful healthcare IT project.

Set goals and objectives

Early on in the process, involve key players – clinical, business, and IT – in determining the goals and objectives of the project. Ask your team to agree on a definition of success. Depending on the project, involving patients may be valuable. A patient portal project is an ideal situation to solicit feedback from patients.

Adapt to changing objectives

Implement effective change management procedures to your plan to ensure that the project meets the goals on-time and within budget.

Change management is important in every project, in every industry. It is particularly important at this time in healthcare.  Healthcare reform and government mandates, such as Meaningful Use, are ever-changing.  Recently, the deadline for compliance with ICD10 was pushed back a year.  If your organization was close to a switchover, ask your project team how those changing objectives impact your plan and your goals.

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