Implementing operations management software at hospitals can be challenging even under normal circumstances. Not only concerning the technical aspects, but the interaction with key stakeholders during the process as well. Although data acquisition, mapping, configuration, and testing are the nuts and bolts of any implementation, other areas are critical for not only deploying a system, but ensuring that the client is able to use the platform to meet and exceed their goals and objectives.

We spend a great deal of time during the discovery phase understanding what our clients are expecting to achieve with our tools. We identify use cases, workflows, opportunities, and pain points as we connect with a new set of stakeholders, typically during face-to-face discussions that include interviews, walkthroughs, shadowing, and workflow whiteboard sessions. We also ask our clients to prioritize the identified areas of opportunity.

An already huge challenge is getting teams aligned on schedules and meeting times. Many of the folks that we work with are key clinical resources, so carving out time during their already overloaded days can be difficult. But being available in person helps streamline the process and can remove technical barriers such as log-in issues and navigation questions. It also allows our team to get instant feedback on the technology, workflow, process, and customer delight.

COVID-19 has, obviously, changed just about everything. As hospitals and clinicians face once- in-a-lifetime challenges, Hospital IQ has been relied upon to continue our efforts to help our clients increase efficiency. In fact, without skipping a beat, we rolled out new reporting designed to help hospitals understand and plan for the impact of COVID-19. And our working model for implementation has had to evolve from an on-site model to a remote one. Our installations were already low-touch and our platform mobile-friendly, so we had a head start on adapting to the challenges of social distancing, but there are still issues we must address.

For a typical launch pre-pandemic, we would be on-site to help ensure that each shift would have our support at the right time and in the right place. In our new world, we are setting up open video conferences in the middle of the night to ensure that as new shifts begin, users that have any issues can immediately be connected to our team. We also ask our customers to have a super user on-site during shift changes to ensure a smooth transition. Although we use well-defined project and communication plans, our clients sometimes run into unforeseen situations. We have always been very flexible and our team is always ready to work with caregivers going through these unthinkable circumstances. We meet them where they are, virtually.

Our customers have played a pivotal role in partnering with us to overcome the challenges of a remote implementation. Bringing our Staffing solution to a recent customer, the project manager on the ground went to the units in the early morning hours to help Critical Charge RNs navigate the implementation, while our own project manager was online with her to answer questions and provide immediate support. We are grateful for our clients’ dedication to their organizations during this pandemic and their commitment to ongoing operational improvement.

Logistically, we were fortunate that most of our team was already working remotely before COVID-19. Using video conferencing for our meetings was nothing new for us. It certainly is easier to get client stakeholders together for an in-person meeting (especially if you bring snacks), but in this environment everything is virtual for now.

We have found that it is best to schedule remote meetings with solid lead times and that they should be recorded for people that are unable to attend. We are also doing multiple training sessions (and recording them) to ensure that we can connect with as many users as possible.

All in all, I think we have all learned quite a bit from this experience. Personally, it’s been a thrill to see how quickly and nimbly our teams have been able to pivot to a brand new implementation model in order to keep serving our customers. Nothing can replace on-site, face-to-face interactions, but I do believe that there are lessons learned that will become part of our DNA for supporting our clients going forward.

To learn how you can implement Hospital IQ in your hospital to drive sustainable operational improvements, contact us today.