Written by Laurie Blount, Director of Medical Device Integration, Iatric Systems
Medical Device Integration projects done "right" require the right mix of hospital resources to contribute during implementation. It's important to align the correct hospital resources to minimize delays and ensure the project stays on track with deadlines. Resources required will vary depending on phases of the project, so I've put together a resource summary by phase, using a typical Accelero Connect® vital sign / EHR integration project as an example. I'll cover resources required for other device type implementations (for example, a smart pump / EHR integration project) in future posts.
This is the period of time between contract signature and implementation kickoff. You will have a discussion with your Iatric Systems project manager on a variety of topics including the layout of all resources for your upcoming project. You’ll be reviewing scope, discussing anticipated timeline, project dependencies, vendor dependencies (including equipment) and competing priorities. You will also be procuring and conducting initial configuration of hardware during this phase. This phase ends with scheduling the Kickoff Meeting.
Anticipated Resources needed: Project Coordinator, System Administrator, Network Administrator, Biomed/Clinical Equipment Manager
The “gang’s all here.” Kickoff meeting should include all members who will be participating in the project at any given point. The call will review project scope, timeline, testing strategy, deliverables, and anticipated issues which may come into play during the course of the project.
Anticipated Resources needed: Project Champion (Manager/Director), Project Coordinator, Clinical Analyst (someone responsible for clinician workflow/future state testing and future state workflow training), Biomed, EHR interface or application specialist, IT/Networking/System Administrator
This is the phase where Accelero Connect is installed and configured, all integration points are set up/tested, and test plan is executed. Iatric Systems conducts weekly status calls with the customer to keep action items in front of the team.
Anticipated Resources needed: Project Coordinator, Biomed, IT networking, EHR application specialist, Clinical Analyst, and in some cases Interface Engine specialist
User Acceptance and Training
Future state workflow testing happens here. Once complete, staff will need to be trained on the new workflow.
Anticipated Resources needed: Project Coordinator, Clinical Analyst, EHR Analyst and Clinician Super Users
This is the part where everyone agrees when to activate production data feeds. Biomed may need to coordinate with the device vendor to ‘turn on’ the production feed from the devices if there is a gateway involved, so this milestone should be scheduled, well communicated, and approved by all affected parties. The hospital also distributes an internal communication plan to stakeholders and staff prior to the scheduled date. Once the data flip takes place, all resources need to be available until the system is verified by all as performing as expected.
Anticipated Resources needed: Project Champion, Project Coordinator, Biomed, EHR specialist, Clinical Analyst, Network Administrator
Iatric Systems likes to know how things are going with the new solution during this period. The hospital will need to have an effective escalation path in place to provide timely feedback to the Iatric Systems team for questions or issues affecting the solution’s production environment so that we can address them in a timely manner. Typically, the hospital’s project coordinator resource owns communication of escalation items, so this is the only resource commitment from the hospital we look for in this phase. Iatric Systems 24/7 support line is also available for the hospital to use at this time.
Anticipated Resources needed: Project Coordinator
It’s important to know that the cost of a project includes capital expenditure of the solution PLUS resource time. With all estimates tallied up, you’re looking at potential 80+ hours total from hospital resources for a typical MDI project.
We know how valuable hospital resources can be, so please keep these estimates in mind as you set aside the capital funds for a new integration solution.