Begin with the end in mind. – Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey will long be remembered as the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The wisdom of those habits is applicable to organizations as well. When onboarding a new Release of Information (ROI) vendor, the end goal is to standardize policies and processes across the enterprise for timely, accurate and efficient disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI).
Partnering with a new vendor for outsourcing Release of Information doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether your organization is managing ROI in house or considering a change from one outsourcing vendor to another, making a smooth transition across the enterprise is critical. Defined tasks and activities are required to successfully bring a new ROI vendor on board and resume normal operations as efficiently and effectively as possible. A seamless process begins with a dedicated implementation team to facilitate the transition, keeping the end goal in mind.
In our experience, organizations often encounter challenges that are difficult to overcome without the expertise of an implementation team. Here are some of the most common pitfalls:
- Lack of executive ownership
- Resistance from stakeholders, no buy-in
- Lack of process knowledge/ownership
- Scope creep—project not well defined, documented, controlled
- Communication issues
- Insufficient staffing, training and other resources
- Multiple technology platforms/EMR
Setting the Stage for PHI Disclosure Management Success: Six Strategies to Ensure a Smooth Transition
When evaluating an ROI vendor, be sure the vendor has a dedicated implementation team to facilitate a smooth transition. That is your first priority. The team will guide the implementation through the following six strategies:
Define the Project. Define the project scope, goals and objectives. Identify the project owner, executive sponsor and all stakeholders. Set expectations and accountability. Develop a timeline with milestones and phases.
Manage Contracts. Monitor and manage the terms of the contract to ensure contractual obligations are met. Deliver to the client exactly as specified in the contract. Proper management prevents scope creep.
Communicate. Provide ways to communicate with senior management and all stakeholders across the enterprise. Communication tools include internal memos, email templates, press releases, onsite meetings, workflow tips, helpline, monthly updates to senior management on timelines and milestones, and post-implementation touch-point calls. Communication builds trust.
Plan. Planning and communication go hand in hand. Otherwise, the project implementation plan won’t leave the conference room. To assist with planning, here at MRO, we provide new clients with a detailed overview of our implementation planning process including the following:
- Pre-Implementation Activities
- Implementation Timeline
- Go-Live Activities
- Post Implementation Activities
Planning is everything. Proper planning presents the opportunity to identify and address issues up front, setting the stage to achieve optimal results.
Document. Comprehensive documentation clearly defines the project desired outcomes. Transparency and accountability are essential. One of our practices is to send welcome packets introducing what we do and what’s going to happen during the implementation period, along with escalation pathways and MRO contact information. Throughout the transition, we provide a detailed agenda for every meeting, minutes following each meeting, training documentation, videos, monthly updates and project monitoring reports. The entire process is documented from the beginning.
Train and Educate. In preparation for go-live, an effective training and education program promotes successful outcomes. The recommended strategy is to begin training after the planning phase and continue throughout go-live. At MRO, our implementation specialists provide training on MRO ROI policies and procedures, current and legacy EMR systems, HIPAA privacy and security, ROI Online® system use and best practices.
Best Practices Yield Optimal Outcomes
Beginning with the end in mind, providers and vendors should work together to help organizations achieve timely, accurate and efficient ROI outcomes. At MRO, our dedicated implementation team guides you every step of the way with proven strategies to ensure a seamless transition.