SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION AND SUPPORT
To be able to discuss the process that a health care organization typically goes through in implementing a health care information system. To be able to appreciate the organizational and behavioral factors that can affect system acceptance and use and strategies for managing change. To be able to develop a sample system implementation plan for a health care information system project, including the types of individuals who should be involved. To gain insight into many of the things that can go wrong during system implementations and strategies health care managers can employ to alleviate potential problems. To be able ...view middle of the document...
Implementing a new system (or replacing an old system) can be a massive undertaking for a health care organization. Not only are there workstations to install, databases to build, and networks to test but there are also processes to redesign, users to train, data to convert, and procedures to write. There are countless tasks and details that must be appropriately coordinated and completed if the system is to be implemented on time and within budget—and widely accepted by users. Along with attending to these activities, or tasks, it is equally important to address organizational and behavioral issues. Studies have shown that over half of all information system projects fail. Numerous political, cultural, and behavioral factors can affect the successful implementation and use of the new system (Ash, Anderson, & Tarczy-Hornoch, 2008; Ash et al., 2007). We devote a section of this chapter to the organizational and behavioral issues that can arise and other things that can go wrong during the system implementation process and offer strategies for avoiding these problems. The chapter concludes by describing the importance of supporting and maintaining information systems.
SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
System implementation begins once the organization has acquired the system and continues through the early stages following the go-live date (the date when the system is put into general use for everyone). Like the system acquisition process, the system implementation process must have a high degree of support from the senior executive team and be viewed as an organizational priority. Sufﬁcient staff, time, and resources must be devoted to the project. Individuals involved in rolling out the new system should have the resources available to them that will ensure a smooth transition. The time and resources needed to implement a new health care information system can vary considerably based on the scope of the project, the needs and complexity of the organization, the number of applications being installed, and the number of user groups involved. There are, however, some fundamental activities that should occur during any system implementation, regardless of its size or scope:
System Implementation Process
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Organize the implementation team and identify a system champion. Determine project scope and expectations. Establish and institute a project plan.
Failing to appropriately plan for and manage these activities can lead to cost overruns, dissatisﬁed users, project delays, and even system sabotage. In today’s environment, where capital is scarce and resources are limited, health care organizations cannot afford to mismanage implementation projects of this magnitude and importance. Organize the Team and Identify a Champion One of the ﬁrst steps in planning for the implementation of a new system is to organize an implementation team. The primary role and function of the team is to plan, coordinate, budget, and manage all aspects of...