It’s no surprise that the roster for any given Epic implementation team is largely project and technical savvy resources. While these critical team members are no doubt experts in their respective areas -- be it EHR integrations and APIs, project management, or QA -- there is a little discussed element of successful Epic go-live that simply can’t be ignored: logistics. When details matter (and they do), it’s vital that the right skillsets are tapped to ensure that roll-out happens smoothly, training is executed well, and that busy clinicians have the information they need for a great Epic launch and adoption.
“I’m a Project Manager, not a Travel Agent!”
While Technical Project Managers are generally detail oriented and reliable, assuming that they will cover all the logistics for a large-scale Epic go-live is a poor assignment. Sure, they've probably got what it takes, but coordinating Epic at-the-elbow (ATE) support is not a small feat. When Certified Epic Trainers are brought in for go-live support, making sure flights are booked, rides are scheduled, hotels are arranged and training spaces are reserved is a time-consuming task. After all, if appropriate measures aren’t taken to bring together all the support resources, then end users may find themselves struggling to effectively use the EHR.
Designating a Logistics Coordinator for large Epic go-live gives ownership for:
- Airline bookings
- A/V support
- Car rental/ride-share arrangements
- Classroom coordination for training
- Hotel bookings
- Meals and snacks -- don’t underestimate the power of a well-fed project team!
- ...and much more!
Leaving the important tasks of travel coordination and resource gathering to already-tapped project team members can lead to burnout at the worst possible time, as well as overlooked tasks that could create chaos when clarity is paramount.
“Stranded at the Airport...Send Help!”
While we’re certainly proponents of bringing in Credentialed Epic Trainers for go-live support, it won’t do you much good if they never make it from point A to point B. Since many highly-skilled Epic experts are located throughout the country, travel is often necessary and should be well coordinated to avoid wasted time and lost revenue. An experienced Logistics Coordinator for large EHR projects can help to secure blocked hotel rooms, for example, which makes transporting all of the at-the-elbow support team far more efficient, not to mention fosters a sense of teamwork that will greatly benefit the Epic implementation efforts.
It’s the job of the logistics manager to carefully coordinate every detail that gets the right people, at the right time, in the right place.
EHR Training Logistics: "Does Anyone have a Pen?"
One of the elements of hospital EHR implementations that can take up significant planning power is training in preparation for Epic go-live. Leaving all the aspects of training logistics to a dedicated resource is, yet again, a fantastic way to ensure that one owner can properly execute these important sessions -- whether they be in a traditional classroom setting or virtual.
Logistics for EHR training includes:
- Scheduling training sessions to reach all end users
- Booking classrooms
- Setting up A/V requirements to support training
- Taking attendance and tracking participation
- Training material gathering and distribution -- don’t forget the pens for note-takers!
- Facilitating training webinars
- Answering project questions and gathering feedback
While there is no aspect of Epic implementation efforts that go unnoticed, adeptly executing training in preparation for go-live can make or break the experience for everyone. Implementation teams will be challenged with unprepared clinical users, clinical users will be flustered and delayed in taking care of their patients, patients will be irritated with said delays and flustered physicians and hospital executives will have quite a mess on their hands to clean up.
Details are critical for Epic go-live support, so consider it a necessity to name a skilled resource to own logistics for every step of delivery -- from training to at-the-elbow assistance. This is work that goes unnoticed when it’s done well, or brings everything to a grinding halt when done poorly. Let’s aim for the former.