By FHP on Sep 20, 2017 9:33:48 AM
Healthcare IT projects are complicated and increasingly Healthcare IT Managers need to coordinate complex resources, meet changing regulations and plan with multiple departments to achieve successful project deployments.
A project failure can cost organizations a lot in human and financial capital. We've scoured the web and read countless articles on the best practices and tips for successful IT projects and summed them up, so you can learn from others.
TOP 10 WAYS TO AVOID HEALTHCARE IT FAILS
You need to be confident in your facilities projects, a lot of people depend on the systems and processes healthcare IT supports even if they don't realize it.
These 10 tips will help you and your team execute projects without a hitch.
1. Give your planning the time it deserves
We all make mistakes when we're rushed. Don't let deadline pressures hinder adequate planning. Time is money but avoidable mistakes will cost you time as well. Make sure the project expectations, objectives, stakeholders, benchmarks, outcomes, budgets and schedules are defined before getting started.
2. Build an all star team
No man, or woman, is an island. We all need to pull on the support, knowledge and strengths of those around us. The best projects will have participation from leaders, involved department management, and end users. Too many cooks in the kitchen can spell disaster so focus on building a project team that will get you key perspectives for success.
3. Involve end users from the start
The worst thing that can happen is you spend months of people's time, budget and sleepless nights preparing a solution and once it's deployed the end users can't or won't use it. Involving end users from the beginning in user testing and input sessions will help you avoid headaches.
4. Estimates and contingencies
Successful projects should follow the motto "Always be prepared". Project budgets and timelines should be as accurate as possible but planning for the unexpected is what great managers do. When things change, and it's likely they will, your project and team need to be prepared to adapt.
5. Speak plainly
In many technical industries jargon and technical terms can hinder effective communication and project planning instead of making you look smart. When communicating with non-technical team members try to use common language or metaphors to encourage understanding and trust to move things forward.
6. Don't meet too much
The best healthcare IT project managers understand their project is not usually stakeholders primary focus. Meeting too often can cause people to tune out. A successful strategy is to know when key departments have regularly scheduled meetings and secure a spot on their agendas. Plan what you will present and ask for so you can use time wisely and get what you need.
7. Commit to transparent updates
Communicating regularly with all team members on the status and concerns of the project are essential. You're all working toward the same goal and it helps if everyone is on the same page, but be concise, no one needs extra meetings or 10 paragraph emails. Communicating project vitals regularly and succinctly with the entire team is the most effective method. When deployment time comes around ensure you have a communications plan for your facility so no one is caught off guard and is ready for any changes.
8. Understand what motivates your team
Everyone on your team will have different roles, experiences, goals and perspectives. Try to understand what motivates them and what they need and want to achieve. When you see the world, and your project, from their perspective you'll be better equipped to facilitate meetings and move the project forward.
9. Don't aim for perfection, aim for progress
The best laid plans will see some unavoidable detours. These changes can often lead to over analyzing next steps and paralyzing progress. Revisit your objectives and expectations with the team when this happens. If you're still meeting the majority of your goals push forward.
10. What gets measured, gets managed
This gets back to adequate planning. If you know how you will measure success or ROI from the start you can ensure those measures are in place at deployment. Try to do so after the fact and you may hit roadblocks. It is an extra step, but it's so important to understand if goals were met and is great proof that your team was effective at improving your facility.
FINAL THOUGHTS FOR SUCCESS:
- Plan adequately and involve key stakeholders at all levels
- Communicate effectively, take into consideration your teams knowledge and perspectives
- Push for progress and prove it
There are a lot of moving parts and hard work that goes into a successful healthcare IT project deployment. We hope you found some useful tips and items to consider for your next project.
As technology evolves these projects have the potential to improve the lives of thousands in the healthcare environment. You can learn how an Acute Care Facility in PA followed these steps and is helping save lives because of it.
Here's to many successful projects!
Here are some more great articles we found you might be interested in.
- 5 Practical Strategies for Managing Successful Improvement Projects
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Eight pitfalls of Healthcare Project Management
- Nine best practices in healthcare IT project management
- Modern Medicine Network