Healthcare organizations often rush the implementation process associated with their transition from a legacy system to a new Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR). Looking for a vendor to provide legacy support while the existing hospital IT staff pivots to learn and implement the new EHR is one area where time is required in order to perform the proper due diligence.
The due diligence work must focus on providing the research to find the right legacy support vendors who can quickly assume the role that the IT staff formerly managed. Making a selection based on lowest price doesn’t always provide the most effective outcome. Healthcare organizations should begin their search about four months before they need a legacy support team to begin providing support. Organizations can spend this time looking at vendors with whom they already have established partnerships and research other vendors that have successfully executed similar legacy support engagements.
The Do’s of Due Diligence
Before beginning your search for a legacy support vendor, define the qualities needed for the project and allow enough time for the selection process. Finding a contractor is like hiring new full-time employees. You should take the time to find the right candidate for the job.
When reaching out to new and potential vendors, it’s a good practice to ask specific, predefined questions to evaluate how relevant the vendors’ services are to the organization’s needs. Some high-level questions to identify a good match include:
- How do the strengths and weaknesses of the services compare to my requirements?
- Does the vendor have the scale and performance history to meet my needs?
- Have my peers at similar organizations had success with any of these vendors?
- Has this vendor had experience across multiple organizations?
- Is the vendor prepared for problems and has experience in fixing problems?
- Can I talk to the vendor’s previous or existing customers?
These efforts will require a project manager working with Subject Matter Experts and should be done with the due diligence of a standard project, including a current-state versus future-state analysis, project planning with milestones and deliverables, a stakeholder analysis, and a communication plan that includes a risk and issue analysis.
Legacy Application Support
Read how Leidos Health supported 86 applications across eight vendors
The Don’ts of Due Diligence
Arguably the more important areas needing the most attention to detail are the communication, documentation, and time/funding requirements.
Don’t Under Communicate - A strong and well-thought-out line of communication should be planned and established between the hospital delegates and the legacy support vendor, as well as between the hospital leaders and the hospital staff impacted by the incoming legacy support team.
Don’t Under Document - Mapping and documenting the legacy systems can help facilitate the transition to the incoming legacy support team, and provide more time for your hospital IT staff to focus on the EHR.
Don’t Under Fund - Providing enough time to find a vendor is important, equally so is making sure that the costs for legacy support are understood.Healthcare organizations may often rush the implementation process associated with the transition from a legacy system to a new Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR). By performing the due diligence during the legacy support phase, hospitals can go a long way to providing their IT staff with the ability to pivot to learning and implementing the new EHR.