MEDITECH Expanse Implementation: Use Automation to Win the Battle Against Time

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By Bob Gronberg | Oct 14, 2022

3 minute read MEDITECH| Blog

Let’s face it, large scale EHR projects are resource intensive events. If properly staffed and planned, they reach deep into operational and IT areas for talent. Successfully structured projects employ not only business and departmental leadership in core team lead roles, but also tap into clinical and administrative resources to fill project team member roles. How can you make sure your project team resources have enough time to focus on the most valuable work? Is there a place for automation tools in making the giant leap to MEDITECH Expanse?

A successful EHR build takes time and knowledge

Having an EHR project team staffed with roles from the hospital’s clinical operations areas is a time-tested approach that helps to ensure the EHR tools being built and configured are able to meet the needs of the healthcare organization, clinic or practice. It can be a long, and at times, painful process —one where lots of discovery and rediscovery blend with new workflow development and work task redesign efforts. These discovery sessions, workflow evaluations and future state redesign efforts are where local, institutional and historical facility knowledge is key. It is also these same areas that are often cut short and are not given the time and attention required to ensure a successful EHR build.

It always takes longer than you think

If the appropriate amount of core team time is not spent on future state design, where is it spent? There are a few culprits that we can point to:

  • Learning about the new systems and how to build and configure it
  • Building out the new system

These activities generally are taking place simultaneously and are part of the same project phase. This approach puts and inordinate amount of pressure on the project teams to learn, build and evaluate the need to redesign workflows and construct a more effective future state — because it must all be done in parallel.

Working on these two important phases at the same time is not an effective and efficient way to leverage precious resource time. What is the alternative?

Automation tools can be the extra hands you need

One way to help an overwhelmed, stretched-thin project team is to consider deploying some level of automation tool or tool sets.

What exactly do I mean by an automation tool? In this scenario, an automation tool would perform scripting and automated data entry.

Here’s the problem: the mountain of data entry work

You have hundreds of tables or dictionaries that need to be built or keyed as part of a given EHR implementation. Some of these dictionaries contain tens of entries while others contain thousands of interlinked and dependent entries. While MEDITECH has created a few file upload capabilities for certain isolated applications/dictionaries, most need to be keyed in. Without the assistance of automation, this means using the keyboard — and more importantly your project staff and their precious project allocated time — to manually enter data.

Here’s a solution: automate data entry

Automation tools offers several valuable benefits when it comes to implementing MEDITECH Expanse or any other large scale EHR project:

  • Provides resources more time for other project activities and operational responsibilities. For example, automating data entry means resources can spend time on important workflow and future state design discussions and activities. Particularly those that integrate processes across departments and business areas. One example might be mapping out the patient flow through the system from scheduling, registration, clinical workup, and discharge process.

  • Offers robust logic to handle error conditions and filing errors. Automation is more than just developing a script and running it. You get real-time monitoring to ensure that scripts finish as expected, and automation gives the ability to reduce keying errors — something that the manual, human-powered process always introduces.

  • Helps reduce the project timeline in certain areas. When you consider the strategic use of automation to help build dictionaries, it might help compress the timeline or allow for the dedicated project resources to bolster other aspects of the project’s tasks and assignments.

More resources for you

When you are scoping out the resource requirements for your next large scale IT project, whether it’s a full EHR implementation or building out an additional application or system, consider taking advantage of automation as a resource time-saving option. We are here to help you use automation to deliver value and maximize your project’s return on investment.

Of course, if you’re looking for additional resources or information about MEDITECH Expanse implementation or if you are ready to drive additional value from the EHR platform, download our eBooks on how to help your organization achieve a singular EHR. We also have a library of demo videos to help you learn how to customize your EHR for your clinicians and more.

About the Author:
Bob Gronberg

Assistant Vice President, MEDITECH Professional Services,

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