Automation Saves Thousands for MEDITECH Expanse Implementation (Time Is Money)

Stay up to date on our latest blogs and content


By Sarah Messer | Aug 11, 2023

3 minute read Technology| MEDITECH| Blog

Automation tools are a must-have when it comes to implementing MEDITECH Expanse today. Recently, our team of automation developers and MEDITECH consultants worked with experts from a large health system to create automations that help speed up manual processes that can consume thousands of hours during an Expanse implementation project. 

Let’s dive into automation and how your organization can use automation tools to save time and money. 

What is automation? 

Technically speaking, automation is the use of tools (like programming scripts or “bots”) to complete repeatable tasks that would otherwise need to be performed manually.  

Philosophically, automation is a mindset. It’s a way of looking at processes, tasks, and the work ahead and considering how you can invest time up front to save time in the long run.  

Manual tasks that are good candidates for automation include  

  • Entering or re-entering data entry  
  • Mapping, moving or importing data  
  • Updating or adding the same data in multiple systems  
  • Testing data accuracy 

Four implementation uses for automation 

Wondering how to put automation into practice? Below are four use cases to help illustrate what’s possible. 

Task 1: Build oncology treatment plan 

Challenge: Typically, oncology treatment plans are built manually and are time-consuming and tedious.  

Solution: Developers created a script to import data from the previous EHR into MEDITECH Expanse. 

Estimated savings: When compared to the manual process, the team estimates this automation will save $775K for the large health system. 

Task 2: Populate and import drugs 

Challenge: Creating order sets in the pharmacy module involves an intensive data entry process 

Solution: Developers created a functional script to populate and import drugs using mini order set structure 

Estimated results 

  • Reduced the build time required for one facility from an estimated 45 hours manually down to just 1 hour of scripting.  
  • Implementation of this automation is expected to save valuable time for Pharmacy subject matter experts 
  • Data accuracy will lead to improved patient safety 
  • Time savings will lead to reduced costs by an estimated $302K for the health system 

Task 3: Perform end-to-end testing 

Challenge: While essential end-to-end and make-or-break (i.e. does the system make the expected billing charge or does the process break) testing activities have become increasingly automated over time, there are still key parts of the process that remain manual and time-consuming. 

Solution: Automating the use of production data for testing allows end-to-end from orders to financial data which helps ensure revenue cycle integrity 

Estimated results: Reduced testing time by at least 50 percent 

Task 4: Map data in the Lab module

Challenge: Building lab tests in Expanse is a time consuming, data intense process 

Solution: Developers created a custom PowerBI tool to fast-track the mapping of the high volume of Lab tests.  

Estimated results: The health system is already using the output of this tool to accelerate the build and estimates 720 hours saved per resource, which translates to an estimated $529K in total resource savings.   

Taking the next step with automation 

If these examples have your creative juices pumping, consider how you can take advantage of automation in your EHR implementation. 

  1. Review the time and resource estimates for your EHR implementation project. Where will your IT team spend the majority of their time?  
  2. Examine those resource intense areas for manual, repetitive tasks. Can automation be developed to automate that work? 
  3. Evaluate the ROI of the automation. If you spend the time up front to develop the automation, will you get that time back and more? 
  4. Assess the skillset of your team. Can you develop automation tools in house, or do you need to find a partner to help? Are there pre-built automations that further reduce the time of an Expanse implementation or upgrade? What else can a partner do to help speed your EHR implementation process? 

Finding an automation partner 

Prioritizing patient safety, understanding how healthcare works, and taking data integrity seriously are paramount to working with an automation or EHR implementation partner. For the past several years, CereCore has been working with clients to automate data entry, provide real-time monitoring, and enable end-to-end testing.  

We are ready to help your organization automate tasks so your IT team can focus on collaborating with clinical staff to build user-focused workflows.  

Read more: 

About the Author:
Sarah Messer

Portfolio Manager, Advanced Data Solutions, CereCore

Put Us to Work

Let us know how we can support your initiatives and take some of the heavy lifting from healthcare IT.