Congratulations! You just received board approval and have the green light to proceed with your Epic Implementation. Aside from projects related to new buildings, this is likely one of the largest capital projects your hospital will tackle in the next decade.
Once you have signed with Epic, there are four key areas to start addressing immediately:
- Solidifying your project budget
- Sequencing and timelines
- Mapping out your third party contracts and planning for legacy support
- Building your team
Time and time again, the area that keeps most health system executives on edge is building an optimal team while minimizing disruption to current operations. As one former Epic CIO told me years ago: “You have one chance to build a transformational team; make it count!”
It is customary to see your IT team size increase upon signing, especially during the implementation. One health system CMIO shared that their human capital costs during the implementation of their EHR accounted for two-thirds of the estimated budget. This is significantly more than the software costs or related infrastructure to run the platform. Once the project was completed and maintenance began, the final human capital costs supporting the implementation ended up representing over 70 percent of their EHR operating budget. Clearly, getting the right team in place to run lean and keep your expenses in check is a critical factor in all phases of any Epic project.
Beginning to Build Your Epic Team
How do you begin to build your team? The Epic methodology encourages you to invest in the wealth of talent already inside your organization. After all, they know your culture, providers, operations and workflows. But how do you tap the right people to move over from operations into building the Epic system? Will a clinician who has been at the bedside for 15 years be happy joining the Epic implementation team?
Years ago, we saw an opportunity to engage our clients at the intersection of signing with Epic and building their optimal Epic team. Listening to our customers at these critical moments, we heard about their most common challenges. An already overloaded HR team is usually not equipped to make these complicated assessments with an Epic training date only a few months away. Even with this limited time, selecting the right talent to join your Epic implementation will be the most important task prior to project kickoff.
Removing Risk from the Team-Building Equation with MedixDirect®
Building on the idea we can leverage talent analytics to maximize team strength and “de-risk” the team selection process, the largest investment on the project P&L, Medix Technology built a program to help. The process, known as MedixDirect, helps to determine the following:
- How to identify and select the right internal talent to move into the project, and the threshold of disruption you can absorb internally
- A system to identify external hires leveraging a model built on measuring aptitude, work styles and behaviors, current competencies and skills, and long-term career goals
- A gap analysis on where to invest in outside talent to ensure a project of this magnitude delivers on time and budget, and meets the expected outcomes of purchasing a “Best-in-KLAS” enterprise EHR system
- How to manage logistics throughout the hiring cycle so your team can focus on mission-critical opportunities
Transformational Teams Backed By Results
After more than a decade and more than 35 health systems supported by this model, the results have been exemplary. One CMIO shared that we not only helped them build a high-performing team that fit the culture and values of the organization, but they saved in excess of $8 million dollars from their initial five year TCO. Another health system executive described building a top-performing team that went live at 10-Stars, one of only two health systems to have done this at the time.
If you are considering a move to Epic, I encourage you to carefully consider your options on how best to assemble your team. After all, this is one of the most critical steps in your Epic journey.
Do you need to build a transformational team to take on your Epic project? Learn what makes MedixDirect® a leading solution for organizations looking to find talent with the right fit and certifications at the right cost by clicking here.
Eric Born is Vice President of Business Development at Medix Technology. With more than 25 years of consulting experience and 11 years supporting clients at every step of the Epic journey, Eric specializes in crafting personalized solutions designed to build high-performing EHR teams. When not writing, he can be seen around his hometown cheering on his three kids with his wife Sara, or working in the yard with their dogs, Rocky and Millie.