The Upgrade Process: Explained

In an effort to improve the way patient data is accurately maintained, the Health Care Industry is undergoing a historical transformation.  The initiative is fueled by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.  There are certainly a lot of preparations in the works to make this movement the next big shift in how medical care is provided.  With that comes advances in health technologies and the computer systems we incorporate to make it all happen.

The standard now has become an advanced network of cloud technologies, interfaced labs, pharmacies and networked providers all at your fingertips.  One would need a full team of dedicated professionals to navigate through the bests tools available to be ahead of the game, or a specialized group now called, the Upgrade Team.  A team of technically advanced, inquisitive and dedicated people to spend tireless hours scouring through new developments and documentation, who choose the proper tools and encourage you to set up your organization to succeed. 

The next best thing for an organization has now become Allscripts Enterprise EHRTM version 11.2 (AE-EHR).  Because many clients have not yet participated in an upgrade process, but have instead experienced a net new implementation, service pack update or simple hot fix, we want you to be as prepared as possible. 

To begin, you will be assigned an Upgrade Team from the vendor which will include a Project Manager, an Upgrade Technician, an Upgrade Consultant and an Interface Analyst.  Your internal team should have representation for those same roles,  and in total your team should have at least 8 to 10 resources.  In addition to this core team, a group of Physician champions, super users, testers, trainers and help desk personnel is recommended to help run the command center and support each other during the actual Go Live week.

When the process begins, we hope that you take time to review all documentation available to you. Please refer to the Galen wiki and various Webcasts, Sales Force, and Client Connect.  You will be instructed to partake in the Allscripts eLearning courses, as well as an 8 hour instructional guide to the process by your Upgrade Consultant.  The Upgrade Team will introduce you to all the new functionalities in AE-EHR version 11.2, the Meaningful Use attestations, and will assist you in building your system to work seamlessly with your organization.  Part of the process will also incorporate the newly released Stimulus Set to the base AE-EHR version 11.2 application.  You will be responsible for attesting that your system is set up correctly to handle all the new requirements.  For this, you will need to allow various members of the Technical Team access to analyze and report how you have organized, mapped and set up your data.

To make sure the project stays on track, two weekly meetings will be held over the course of your 19 week upgrade.  The Project Manager will coordinate all resources for their action items and responsibilities, while the Upgrade Consultant meets to discuss the application, testing and build stages of the upgrade.  The Upgrade Tech and Interface Resource are invaluable pieces to the puzzle that will help you throughout the process, and will be available to you in addition to these meetings.  To start, a copy of environment is created to mirror your live system and is then upgraded to the new 11.2 version.  To personalize this base and to utilize the application, we need to configure the new parts to their full potential.  Many of the new functionalities in AE-EHR version 11.2 are in the areas of Security, Preferences, and new Tasks that all have been designed to help you meet the Meaningful Use criteria. 

As the go-live date approaches, testing has been as thorough as possible and all training has been passed along to your end users, we encourage you to prepare everyone for the new version.  It is recommended to provide reference materials for all users to avoid high traffic through your call center on go live Monday.  We also recommend an organized ticketing system to track the concerns that may arise, and a resource that may be available to uninstall and reinstall controls for various computers, tablets and devices that may not have been updated.  Your Upgrade Consultant will be with you throughout the entire go live process remotely, and host an open bridge screen share to walk you through the build process, testing concerns and later onto issue resolution.  You may request that the consultant be on site for this and an additional contract will have to be submitted.  Either way, the entire team will have constant contact with you throughout the first week of your live system.  Post upgrade, the one week transition period will help all team members decompress from the previous 19 weeks.  We will hold meetings to review our outstanding issues that came from the go live weekend as well as any outstanding Sales Force tickets that could be considered critical to your success.  Once we have transitioned past this first week, all outstanding minor concerns will be processed by the Allscripts post live queue and closed appropriately. 

For those of you who may be taking the Stimulus Set component after your go live with AE-EHR base version 11.2, you will once again be in contact with your Project Manager and Upgrade Consultant to repeat the process in building the set and moving forward successfully in attempts to use your Electronic Health records in a Meaningful Way.

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