Ingredients for a Successful Upgrade

WellSpan Health has just made the move from Allscripts Enterprise EHR’s version 10 to V11. It’s Go-Live Monday and it’s quiet in the command center. How did we get here? 400 Doctors, 1900 total end users, 4 external MSO sites and 60 internal sites up on the EHR, and close to 40 of them completely paperless. 1pm on Go-Live Monday and we have had 125 calls. That is less than 1% of end users calling in with anything. The calls that we are receiving are typical of any go live. Some PCs were had issues with the Allscripts (ActiveX) controls and end users still learning their way around in a new system. We have entered one support ticket into the vendor. What are the elements that led to this success?

The Client Team

The client team at WellSpan Health is deep, and knowledgeable. They take pride in partnering with their physicians, and the physician partners drive the design of the EHR. The physician champions have been intimately involved in the project from classroom training to Go-Live. Their schedules have been adjusted throughout the course of the project to be able to provide clinical oversight to the build process and to act as liaisons with the leadership team internally with the organization. The build and configure team is made up of multiple analysts, three lead analysts and two physician champions. Some of these team members typically work with other products or in specific areas (with Dragon Dictate, with the practice management system, Allscripts Scan, etc.) but have been brought in to meet the staffing needs of the project. All of the people that worked on the build and configuration, as well as the technical staff and the desktop team have been working in conjunction with each other through the entire process.


The testing of the system was diligent and thorough. There was one person on the team who was a designated testing coordinator. Testers worked through every workflow used in the organization multiple times. The physician champions worked through their workflows and ensured that they had a through understanding of the system and were prepared to discuss the system and provide support to their colleagues. Their testing plan included 16 people working full days in a lab, hammering on the system. They paced their testing with internal issue resolution – they would complete one week of testing and follow it with one week of internal issue resolution, and then test again. They continued this pattern for 6 weeks. This testing plan allowed for their team to become intimately familiar with the new features of the application and clearly validate their build decisions.

End User Training

End user training lasted for a month prior to go-live and provided many options for learning for individuals with different learning styles. There was introductory information available online and a very clear and valuable webcast for end users designed by the client team. Classroom sessions in a lab were offered in 2 hour session and 4 hour sessions by the education team. The client also created a Citrix training environment where end users could log in and practice prior to the V11 deployment. The week before Go-Live, the education team offered V11 Workshops.


The Command Center is fully staffed with help desk staff, analysts, the project manager, desktop team along with the Upgrade Consultant and Upgrade PM. Over the course of the weekend there was a dial-in number that administrators could call into to check the process of the upgrade. There is a three tiered issue resolution process in place and as of 2pm on Go-live Monday, only one issue has not been able to be resolved on-site and been logged into the vendor. In addition to the issue resolution process in place, the physician champions are available today to go directly to practices where physicians would be better served by talking to another physician about the workflow and the presentation of the system.

The client knew that even with the thorough education provided, there would be a learning curve for their end users on the initial days logging into the new system. Provider schedules have been reduced for the week of go-live in order to support the end users and to give them time to adjust to their new navigation and adjustments to workflow.

WellSpan Health is live on V11, end users are in and practicing medicine…and it’s quiet here in the command center. While I am normally a person who thrives on a sense of urgency and loves solving problems – I am glad that today is quiet; it means my client has done a really excellent job.

For additional information regarding Galen Healthcare Solutions’ upgrade / professional services please contact or visit

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