The Benefits of Achieving Meaningful Use #achieving #meaningful #use, #ehr #implementation


The Benefits of Achieving Meaningful Use

Dr. Stasia Kahn’s persistence and motivation led her to be a vanguard among her colleagues. Being an owner of a newly formed two provider practice presents many challenges and barriers, but Dr. Kahn leverages clinical experience along with a positive outlook about technology to find solutions to challenges and improve healthcare quality.

Achieving Meaningful Use in a Small Practice

As an Internal Medicine physician, Dr. Kahn frequently shares data with other healthcare providers and patients, making a system to efficiently collect patient data vital. With the release of the Meaningful Use Stage 1 core and menu objectives. Dr. Kahn’s practice planned for an electronic health record (EHR) implementation that would not only meet the needs of the practice but position them to achieve meaningful use. For a small practice this meant a significant investment of time and resources with barriers including:

  • Hardware, software, and interface costs
  • Slowdowns in productivity due to staff training
  • Limited physician time to devote to meaningful use project management

Despite these barriers, Dr. Kahn made achieving meaningful use a priority, and the practice started the attestation process in 2011. Beginning the process early allowed time for Dr. Kahn to complete a meaningful use gap analysis and map meaningful use measures to data fields she wanted to incorporate into her practice’s EHR. As the physician champion in her practice, Dr. Kahn worked with IT consultants to create training materials and checklists for providers and staff that explain how to:

Benefits of Achieving Meaningful Use

Dr. Kahn found that achieving meaningful use required physicians and staff members to work outside of their comfort zones, which resulted in new policies and procedures that improved healthcare quality.

While the financial and time resources required to achieve meaningful use were demanding on Dr. Kahn’s small practice, the benefits are tangible. By implementing an EHR and achieving meaningful use, Dr. Kahn’s practice is now using technology to help improve patient care such as:

  • E-prescribing
  • Automated recall processes for preventative services and chronic disease follow-up
  • Patient registries (e.g. diabetes and coronary artery registries)

Dr. Kahn’s practice has seen improved safety and reduced healthcare costs, as well as improved population health. For example, Dr. Kahn notes that “being alerted when my patients’ BMI falls out of range prompts me to do something about it and has resulted in more frequent discussions with my patients on the importance of weight management.”

Achieving meaningful use also fostered a relationship between Dr. Kahn’s practice and the State of Illinois Immunization Registry. Without the meaningful use incentive payments, it was unlikely that the practice would have gone to the trouble of implementing a system that was able to participate in a statewide immunization registry. While the path to Stage 1 Meaningful Use was steep, Dr. Kahn believes having a positive attitude about technology and being willing to address barriers will lead to excellent patient care delivery and practice transformation. Dr. Kahn is already reviewing Stage 2 Meaningful Use to assess the measures and find solutions for her practice’s next step on the path to making meaningful use meaningful for her patients.

Project Procurement Management: 5 Steps of the Process #project #procurement #management,process,step,purchasing #department,procurement,steps,project


Project Procurement Management: 5 Steps of the Process

MyMG Team
March 23, 2011

The process for managing procurements in 5 steps

Managing project procurements and acquisitions requires the project manager to efficiently collaborate with the purchasing department on the process of planning and managing procurements. Project procurement management is a section of the Implementation Plan to determine how the ordered products necessary for producing deliverables can be delivered on time and within the allocated budget . Note that the Procurement Management section of the Implementation Plan will be necessary only for projects that have to deal with substantial buy-in of expertise or capital items. For any other projects where there is no high level of procurement expenditure it is enough to include a procurement item list and a vendors list in the project implementation plan.

Project Procurement Process

a Project Procurement Process [also called Project Procurement Management Process ] is a method for establishing relationships between an organization’s purchasing department and external suppliers to order, receive, review and approve all the procurement items necessary for project execution. The supplier relationships are managed on a contractual basis. The process aims to ensure timely delivery of the purchased items which are selected and acquired according to the specifications and requirements set up by the purchasing department and approved by the project manager.

The procurement process includes five major steps, as follows:

  • Specification. This step involves the purchasing department in communicating with the project manager to develop and approve a list of procurement items necessary for project implementation. The department must specify the approved items to external vendors.
  • Selection. This step of the project procurement process requires the department to find potential suppliers which can procure the necessary items, according to the specifications. For this purpose the department needs to set vendor selection criteria. which may include such measures as Delivery, Service Quality, Cost, and Part Performance.
  • Contracting. The department must communicate with the suppliers on delivery dates and payment conditions in order to ensure on-time delivery of the ordered items within the stated project budget. All the conditions should be listed in a procurement contract. Also a detailed delivery schedule should be negotiated with the procurers and approved by the purchasing department.
  • Control. Success of the procurement management process depends on how the purchasing department controls the delivery and payment processes. Through arranging regular meetings with the vendors, tracking delivery progress, reviewing the ordered items against the approved product specifications, and making necessary changes to the procurement contract, the department can control the process and ensure successful accomplishment.
  • Measurement. The final step of the project procurement management process refers to using a system of performance indicators and measures for assessing the effectiveness and success of the entire process. The project manager needs to set up such a system and the purchasing department needs to use it in measuring the process. Special meetings and workshops can be conducted to view KPIs, intermediate results of staged delivery, performance of procurers, adherence to product specifications, communications with suppliers, and the like. In case any deviations or gaps are revealed the department should notify the project manager and make necessary changes to the procurement plan.

Project Procurement Plan

Planning of project procurements is carried out within the procurement process and results in developing a plan. A procurement plan is a convenient tool for organizing and managing activities and tasks related to the procurement management process. A template of the plan is to be designed by the purchasing department in cooperation with the project manager. A project procurement plan should be reviewed and approved by the project manager before any supplier relationships get started.

A project procurement plan template documents:

  • Deliverables to be procured by proposed agreements/contracts.
  • Effective resource management strategies for negotiating and managing the agreements/contracts.
  • The need for staged delivery and desirability of testing the procured items before introducing them into the implementation process (this item is optional).
  • The chosen procurement method (payments, expressions of interest, request for price/quote, request for tender).
  • Key stages of the process for selecting suppliers and vendors.
  • The model of procurement funding.
  • The sample of procurement contract/agreement.
  • References to quality approvals, quality assurance and risk management.

EMR Return on Investment (ROI) #emr #roi, #emr #return #on #investment, #emr



An EMR Return on Investment (ROI) or Cost-Benefit Analysis study should be performed before any type of technology is purchased for a healthcare organization. This is especially true for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software where the cost benefits can vary greatly.

We performed our cost-benefit analysis on a hypothetical single doctor medical office using industry averages from various sources. Our hypothetical offices sees 30 patient per day, from a patient base of 2500 patients. We will use an assistant to physician ratio of 3 to 1 and our office receives 100 phone calls per day of various nature.


Software License – EMR license prices range from 1k-25k. Where an average license for a FULL/TRUE EMR is $10,000 and a Light EMR is $1,000.
Implementation Implementation costs are usually billed hourly at a rate of $75-$150 per hour. Average implementation time per provider is 35 hours. Where 10 hours are used for customization, 25 hours for training and 10 hours for computer/network setup. This becomes exponentially lower as more physicians are added. For our example we will use an hourly rate of $100 per hour.
Hardware Where most physicians have a 3 to 1 assistant ratio, we ve suggested 1 Tablet PC for the provider, 3 workstations for the assistants and a Server. Tablet PC = $2,500, Workstation = $1,000, Server = $2,000.
Support Maintenance Ongoing support costs will be incurred from both an annual support contract with the software vendor for updates and technical support and the increased need of hardware/network support through a local IT representative.


Improved Coding Where down-coding and poor charge capture can both be improved through an EMR s E M Coder. A study by Medical Economics magazine estimated that a physician who is regularly down-coding may be losing as much as $40,000 to $50,000 annually. A study done by Partners Healthcare System found an increase of 1.5%-5% in overall billing simply through improved charge capture. For our example we will use a conservative improvement rate of 2.5% to factor in a reduction in down-coding, resulting in approx. $25,000 per year.

How to Create a Big Data Implementation Road Map #big #data #implementation


How to Create a Big Data Implementation Road Map

Big data implementation plans, or road maps, will be different depending on your business goals, the maturity of your data management environment, and the amount of risk your organization can absorb. So, begin your planning by taking into account all the issues that will allow you to determine an implementation road map.

Business urgency and big data

Many ambitious organizations always seem to need the latest and greatest technologies immediately. In some situations, an organization can demonstrate that the availability of important big data sources can lead to new strategies. In these cases, it makes sense to create a strategy and plan. It is a mistake to assume that big data adoption and implementation are a defined project.

The adoption of big data has broad implications for the company s overall data management strategy. So, independent of some of the other factors involved, the time required to design your big data solutions should be clearly noted on any road map. In addition, the design tasks should never be glossed over or eliminated.

Select the right big data software development methodology

Most companies and organizations have IT teams that follow prescribed development processes and practices. Some of these development methodologies are well suited to big data implementations, while others, sadly, are not.

Big data projects are best suited for an agile and interactive development process. Iterative methodologies use short time cycles with rapid results and constant user involvement to incrementally deliver a business solution. Therefore, it is not surprising that an iterative process is the most effective development methodology for big data implementations.

Balance big data budgets and skill sets

It is always difficult to anticipate the budgetary requirements for a new type of project like big data. The best practice is to clearly understand the expected costs and downstream benefits of your big data implementation and then secure an appropriate budget.

Getting the right skill sets for any project is another challenge. Often the most sought-after individuals are stretched thin across several initiatives. So staff augmentation is often the answer, albeit not an easy one.

Over time, you will find more training and more qualified professionals. In the meantime, the best practice is to identify and acquire some data science skills for design and planning, Hadoop and NoSQL skills for implementation, and parallel/cluster computing skills for operations.

Determine your appetite for risk with big data

Every organization has a culture that will determine how much risk management it is willing to assume. If you are in a highly competitive market, you may need to take more risks on potential market innovation. However, even companies in highly competitive markets may be cautious. You have to understand the dynamics of your organization before you embark on a big data project.

All organizations, even those with an appetite for high risk, must be wary as they adopt big data. The development and acculturation of any new technology or solution can be fraught with failures. Using agile methodologies to help to explicate fast successes and fast failures is the best practice for setting proper expectations in a trailblazing organization.

Your big data road map

You should think of these as starting points for how you can get the ball rolling with big data and make changes as necessary for your business.

If your organization has experience with business intelligence applications and analytics, has relatively mature data management practices, and has established a high-capacity infrastructure and operations, the task of adopting big data is a bit easier. This does not imply guaranteed success or reduced risk.

Getting started is always easier if some of the people involved have done it before. Here are a few tips to consider as you contemplate bringing big data into your company or organization:

Get some help. Don t be adverse to hiring an expert or two as consultants. Be sure that they know their stuff and ensure that they are capable of mentoring people in your organization.

Get training. Take classes, buy and read books, do research on the Internet, ask questions, and attend a conference or two.

Experiment. Plan to fail. Fast failure is becoming de rigueur for contemporary technology-driven organizations. The best lessons learned often come from failures.

Set proper expectations. In the business world, properly set expectations can mean the difference between success and failure. Big data offers huge potential to your business only if you accurately represent the value, costs, and time to implement.

Be holistic. Try to look at all the dimensions. If the project is delivered on time and on budget, but the end users weren t trained or ready to use it, the project may fall into failure.

What is implementation? Definition from #cloud #computing #implementation #steps



Implementation is the carrying out, execution, or practice of a plan, a method, or any design, idea, model, specification, standard or policy for doing something. As such, implementation is the action that must follow any preliminary thinking in order for something to actually happen.

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In an information technology (IT) context, software or hardware implementation encompasses all the post-sale processes involved in something operating properly in its environment, including analyzing requirements, installation, configuration. customization, running, testing, systems integrations, user training, delivery and making necessary changes. The word deployment is sometimes used to mean the same thing.

For an implementation process to be successful, many tasks between different departments need to be accomplished in sequence. Companies strive to use proven methodologies and enlist professional help to guide them through the implementation of a system but the failure of many implementation processes often stems from the lack of accurate planning in the beginning stages of the project due to inadequate resources or unforeseen problems that arise.

An IT system implementation usually starts with negotiating a contract with a vendor. a usually meticulous process that defines set guidelines, deadlines and a payment schedule for the entire implementation process. Contract requirements could include the outline of system performance criteria, penalties related to issues and delays in the implementation process, documentation. training and issue resolution requirements as well as vendor support after the system goes live in case of problems. Having detailed requirements agreed to in writing is a benefit to companies since it gives managers and users clear requirements to be met at different points throughout the process and holds the vendor accountable for the product.

After a contract is agreed to and a project timeline is established, key business units must meet to discuss the organization’s future roadmap, the project’s scope and what a new system could achieve for the company. Usually, the main players at this stage include the IT team, top business executives and various sales teams, especially if the software/hardware being implemented is an enterprise-wide tool such as a CRM or ERP system.

With various levels of the organization working together, each department must agree on clear, quantifiable and well-defined goals for the project and what they each hope to gain out of using the new technology. The company’s goals need to be measurable in order to assess results and to judge the success or failure of the system once it is implemented. Sometimes, this might require an auditor — either from a third party. a vendor, or someone internally — to be brought in to evaluate every customer-facing business process to diagnose problem areas or inefficiencies that need to be corrected. Once goals are established, the organization must develop a plan for checking in on the implementation’s status that often includes a timeline focused on achieving set objectives through various stages of the implementation process.

Key players in the implementation process typically meet regularly to discuss the project’s progress, voice concerns and augment procedures as necessary. An organization may deem it necessary to appoint a program manager, someone with experience in the technical aspects of the technology as well as in project management. to oversee the implementation process from start to finish. Software implementations often involve people such as business analysts, solutions architects and technical analysts in the implementation process.

After the process for any hardware or software implementation project moves through the planning stage, companies should gradually test the new system until it is ready to fully go live. A pilot program. where a small test group within the company runs the system as part of a trial for a finite period of time, is often a key component to any implementation process.

Typically, a subsection of tech-savvy workers within a company is enlisted to try the new system because they would be most keen on picking out glitches or shortcomings of the system to further help the implementation process. After testing is complete, training programs focus on educating users about the new system and how to use it before the system eventually is ready to go live. At the end of the implementation when the system is about to go live, companies typically review the entire process and verify that all tasks have been completed.

Software/hardware implementations should always be designed with the end user in mind and the implementation process usually benefits from user involvement and support from managers and other top executives in the company. If users participate in the design and implementation of the system, ideally it will serve their business objectives more accurately and reflect their priorities and the ways in which they prefer to work. Their involvement in the process also makes them more receptive to changes that need to be implemented because they have firsthand experience of what the system comprises.

The user-designer communications gap is typically a hurdle companies must overcome to successfully implement a new system. Users have wants and needs that they hope to get from the system while designers and IT staff have to consider various restrictions, efficiencies and database management principles and limitations during the implementation process.

Implementations inherently represent a change in a company’s existing technological architecture so it is common for implementation processes to encounter problems on both sides of the go-live date. To account for this, companies should keep close relationships with vendors and consultants to help them fix issues as they come up. Common problems that arise during implementations include the missing of deadlines, going over budget for the entire project, underestimating hours that staff is devoted to a project, running into unexpected delays or blockages due to an external partner and facing the withdrawal of support from key stakeholders or various unforeseen consequences that could otherwise slow the process down.

This was last updated in May 2015

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