Coauthored with Kim Baxter
When supporting a legacy application, a partner should take complex and time-consuming tasks off the organization’s plate, allowing focus on more productive, strategic, operation improving and patient experience enhancing activities. With the right application support partner, hospitals are free to focus their time and resources on what matters most — the patient. These are the key features of a successful partnership we’ve observed from our experience performing application support:
A collaboration of unique skill sets can present balance between the two teams. Both parties are (or should!) be made up of experienced health care professionals with strong project management and interpersonal skills. Although the organization and partner support teams are working on different EMR systems, there should be a common goal to provide an exceptional level of support in the delicate transition period of switching EMRs. This involves teaching one another as much as possible about how to maintain that level of service when dealing with users on different systems.
Galen’s observation has been that other consulting firms can be silo’d and less autonomous in their consulting offering. Make sure to find a partner that has a well rounded skill set and strong ability to communicate.
An application support partner should be there to empower users to understand the features, functions and benefits of the EMR. Having a user base who takes ownership and is proud of their set up and customized workflow attributes greatly to employee satisfaction.
When Galen is providing legacy support, our team encourages users to be a part of any change or enhancement roll out. This makes for a more organic approach in user adoption to change.
Since healthcare and information technology are both ever growing and evolving it is important for an application support partner to take responsibility to research, grow and learn with the market. Possessing the flexibility to adapt to newly formed mandates and having the wherewithal to learn and anticipate what’s next well positions the partner to make confident decisions and recommendations for the client’s they serve.
One of the ways Galen demonstrates this is through our extensive knowledge of PQRS reporting, which we use to help clients figure out the best way to get the most return.
Health Care Focused
Having the skills and experience to understand the dynamic demand forces that are driving the health care industry plays a crucial role in being able to easily prioritize projects and issues that need timely resolution. Client users are more likely to wait patiently for a request if their application support partner can be upfront with their workload and explain why something else is more pressing at the moment, allowing the partnership to flow more smoothly.
Having a relationship is crucial in any partnership. Little things like remembering someone’s birthday or asking about weekend plans adds a level of compassion. In turn the client community is happy to have outside support there and feels comfortable reaching out with questions or inquiries.
Galen takes a lot of pride in the unique culture we possess and that mantra shines through in the services we provide. From our first meetings, we find ways to connect with our clients and do our best to maintain that relationship until our last day of support.
This goes hand and hand with empowering users of EMRs to be excited about the work and contributions they have made to them. At Galen, we like to call it “Infectious Enthusiasm”. We do not want to take credit for these contributions but rather leave users excited about what we have created together.
We are currently working on a project to roll out new functionality to aide with the clinical transfer process. This is something the client has tried to implement many times over the years but we seem to be making better progress than ever. In this project there are many moving parts and multiple team members from all departments. We attribute much of the project’s success so far to the fact that our team has excited the users to want to improve the current state of the system. Now, they are working together and the result will be a labor of the team’s efforts.
Above & Beyond Partnership
The above example is also an example of taking initiative in a partnership. While an application support partner’s job doesn’t include enhancing the system, the users will still be using these systems for the foreseeable future. As a support partner, doing little things above and beyond the negotiated contract can set you apart from the rest. Galen consultants are often “guilty” of making small optimization changes to improve workflows where time permits.
One Stop Shop
A support partner who isn’t only focused on one small area of the healthcare industry will also have a better vision and possess the autonomy to change and adapt. If the partner has a team of smart people behind them that they can call on with reporting, industry or interoperability questions it results in quicker issue resolution. A company with employees who will drop what they are doing to help their support team help their client is a very rare thing, but at Galen, we encourage it, as it results in a happier partnership all around.
Consider leaning on the “Galen’s of the world” to backfill. Let us reduce complexity in your healthcare IT landscape. Contact us below to find out how our application support services can aid your organization: