An Operation Leader’s Take on Partnering for MEDITECH Expanse Projects

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By CereCore | Aug 25, 2023

2 minute read MEDITECH| Blog| Client Perspectives

CIOs report alternative staffing models such as contracting with a partner for partial IT outsourcing and hiring contractors for a specific, short-term project are among the best ideas for addressing staffing challenges. Our recent partnership with Surgery Partner’s OakLeaf Surgical Hospital to upgrade the facility to MEDITECH Expanse helps prove the point. What follows are highlights from our work together. 

Technology is a must-have and communication is key 

When implementation was complete, we had increased the hospital IT team’s capacity by shifting to a managed MEDITECH hosting model and we had worked together to improve workflows to support physician satisfaction and focus on quality patient care. But it all started with executive involvement and commitment to keeping everyone informed every step of the way.  

Says Anne Hargrave Thomas, CEO of OakLeaf Surgical Hospital and vice president of operations at Surgery Partners at the time of the implementation, “We started 20 months before our go-live to start talking about this project with our staff, our physicians, and any of our end users. We wanted them to know what it was, how it would improve patient care, what the timeline transition would be like, and who we needed to be involved. Communication is key.” 

Collective expertise is critical to success 

“It really takes a village. This is nothing that can be built in a vacuum. Any EMR, whether it is Expanse or a different product, there is just so much work behind the scenes that goes into it that you just cannot do it in a vacuum. You need resources. You need people. You need help to get it done,” said Hargrave-Thomas.

The collaboration of CereCore, Surgery Partners and MEDITECH was key to the success of this implementation. Backed by their own experience, OakLeaf's team was able to be involved at a detailed level for this project. When the time was right for the hospital to function with no outside assistance, their understanding of the implementation and system functionality had prepared them well.  

Technology can instill confidence for teams of all sizes 

By working together, we were able to be intentional about designing and executing communication and training plans so the team could achieve self-sufficiency despite their small size.  

Hargrave-Thomas put it this way, “There are just days you feel like the cyber criminals get better and better every day. And for us, we are a smaller hospital, so trying to stay ahead of that can be daunting, from a financial side as well as having an EMR, that will help protect us.” 

Leadership participation seals the deal 

From the beginning, involved, decisive facility leadership from OakLeaf and necessary roles from CereCore instilled confidence for those involved. Conversations with physicians led to an informed build and helped make the most of their time and perspective, which was a driving force behind accomplishing this important strategic objective for this facility.  

Hargrave-Thomas gave this advice, “From a CEO perspective, once you have decided on an EMR, be involved. Stay involved. That is key. Your people want to see you involved, and I know for large institutions and organizations, having worked for them, that is a very difficult thing to ask. But whatever the leadership structure is, whatever the top leader is — be involved and be visible. I think that was the key. They truly understood that I was just as engaged, which kept everyone else engaged.” 

Related Resources 

| Listen now on The CereCore Podcast: A CEO’s Experience: What an EHR Technology Change Really Needs for Success 

| Download decision guides for MEDITECH Expanse  

|Check out our other resourceson managed services and staffing and help desk.   
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