Impact Insights

Preparing Your Team For Go Live

Jacqueline Luster

It is only two months prior to your Practice Management application go live and there is anxiety in the air.  Everyone is panicking because of unresolved issues, not to mention this is their first Epic/Cerner implementation. Your direct reports, leadership, operational owners and others are watching your every move and reaction. What you do to prepare your team prior to go live is crucial to the success of your project. Not only must you have the appropriate tools and resources available, but you must provide guidance to your team on how to react when things may not go as planned.

I think we can all agree that it is easy to shine when everything is going well, but how you choose to respond during stressful times is what counts the most and sets you apart from others. Losing perspective in front of clients, staff or stakeholders can be one of the most diminishing events in your career. At the end of day continuous loss of control signals to others that you are spinning out of control and your credibility will begin to fade. Losing your clients, staff or stakeholders’ respect and trust is detrimental to the project and your career. Staying calm and listening goes a lot further in resolving problems quickly and efficiently. This creates a win-win effect for everyone involved.

The following are some tips to ensure your team is equipped to have a successful go live:

  •  First, and foremost, always maintain your professionalism. Merriam-Webster defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person”; and it defines a profession as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.” These definitions suggest that professionalism embraces a number of different traits, and, together, these traits identify and define a professional and earns respect from those around you.
  • It is important to keep the project on track by directing discussions back to the main topic and/or decision point. Alternatively, simply assisting the teams in removing obstacles can relieve a lot of tension. For example, a decision from an executive is the only thing standing in the way of the analyst resolving a major issue. You can assist by working with the analyst and the executive to make the right decision, allowing the analyst to move forward.
  • Compartmentalize while at work by separating your issues and move forward in incremental steps to achieve the best results through listening to what is important to your clients and saying “no” to things that do not deserve a compartment. You will find that you need to separate issues between factual  and emotional . Both needs require attention, but how much time you spend on each one will differ.
  • Ensure that approved workflows by application/operational owners address touchpoints and hand-offs. This instills confidence and calm in operations and leadership by knowing the workflow and desirable outcome addresses the client’s needs.
  • Reporting is always a top priority for any client. Be sure to reach out to the operational owners and determine the go live critical reports that they currently use daily, weekly and monthly to run their business. Afterwards, evaluate and find or create the new practice management report that best suits their needs to gain their trust and operational sign off.
  •  Create a tracking document for all Revenue Cycle applications (front, middle and backend) identifying outstanding issues with the understanding of what is go live critical vs. go live non-critical.  Conduct daily report outs leading up to the last two or three weeks of go live to confirm issue resolution. This helps to focus leadership and understand the importance of tying up loose ends.  It also can relieve anxiety once you have closure.
  • Create a “week by week” of the top issues/concerns for your area and then work out a plan to achieve resolution. The week by week should include the category name, schedule of when the discussion will take place and the operational owner as well as the key touch point partners. This produces a sense of renewal based on projected closure on important issues.

Having the right attitude, the appropriate business tools readily available, mixed with business and operational experience can guide you towards completing your goals during the last two weeks prior to going live with the new Practice Management applications. This feat will keep everyone feeling a sense of calmness and readiness and will help make your project a success.

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