Answers for a Healthier World

Return to blog

In part one, we discussed how a perfectly executed go-live event can signal the launch of a new system, commonly one for managing Electronic Health Records (EHR). We also discussed how this event signifies a major milestone in a hospital’s IT modernization program. In this blog, we want to discuss how, with so much on the line, it’s crucial for hospitals to understand the process and make decisions about the level of autonomy that support teams and consultants will require.

Planning and analysis should include a close attention to headcount to start the go-live project, which is a topic we also touched on in the previous blog. This analysis needs to focus on the expected duration of the go-live project and include a strong understanding of the budget, including all expenses for the project. Also, it’s important to know how to identify the superusers within the new system, and how they will allot time between learning the new system and patient care. 

Superusers are generally defined as clinical staff who have been pre-trained on the new applications to help instruct coworkers and drive adoption. Because of their regular job responsibilities, superusers might not be available at all times. Administrators need to decide how these personnel will be dividing their time between their regular jobs and go-live support roles. But they can continue to be a valuable resource for support and instruction after temporary go-live support team has completed their work, it’s important to have an adequate number of superusers.

Resource allocation, which requires prior planning, should include application vendor resources, superusers, contractor staff, and administrators. Specifically, hospital leaders need to understand how these resources provide suitable support to appropriate areas. For example, the Emergency Department is fast-paced and high demand, and might have less time for training, so will require more support. Scheduling and allocating resources in advance can help organizations know that the right coverage is available for a successful go-live.


Completing the Successful Go-Live at Novant
In part one of this blog, we discussed how Leidos Health and Novant Health’s project management teams worked closely to develop a rollout plan and met regularly with management to keep them informed every step of the way. Given the project’s complexity and the sizable number of needs (10 times the size of an average go-live), this highly collaborative approach was central to the rollout’s success.

Daily onboarding meetings, security badging, and work-flow training, which would typically be held at the hospital, needed to be conducted offsite given the group’s size. The Leidos Health team met the challenge by setting up a hotel ballroom and breakout rooms, ensuring trainers had the necessary equipment and connectivity to enable EPIC screens to be viewed outside the hospital’s IT network.

Within 90 days, Leidos Health had effectively recruited, trained, and placed 250 professionals to support Novant Health’s go-live. The rollout to multiple departments was successfully completed within two weeks, with an additional week needed for surgical units.

With Leidos Health’s expert recruiting process, readiness planning, and intensive on-site coordination, Novant Health achieved an on-time go-live and a positive go-live experience for staff across all departments. They also increased user adoption of the EHR software by having an adequate number of EPIC experts on site. The go-live was the crowning achievement for the effort to bring new and better patient care to the entire Novant Health network.
Mark Dermott has more than 30 years of executive and leadership experience in the healthcare and staffing industry. Mark has held roles in homecare, healthcare IT consulting, and commercial staffing, including M&A, franchising, startups, and strategic alliances. Mark has a consistent record of enhancing sales, margin, and profit growth in both start-up and large businesses over $500M. Mark is currently the Go-Live Practice Vice-President for Leidos Health. In 5 years he has built the practice from the ground-up and delivered over 460 separate Go-Live projects and created a top ranked service by KLAS. Mark and his team are routinely implementing best practices for successful Go-Live while keeping ideal methodology, resource allocation, and budgeting in mind. In 2016 Mark and his team delivered over 63 separate go-lives projects with a year end KLAS score of 92.7.