Archive for the ‘Project Management’ Category

Healthcare Informatics

April 30, 2013

Sometimes at work I feel like such a nerd. I have actually been called one due to the knowledge base that I possess at this time. At meetings, I will explain in detail some of the technologies, barriers, processes, etc. I watch nurse administrators eyes glaze over as I speak. It is very interesting to consider the scope of Informatics. By definition, informatics is the science of information. This in turn is defined by Webster’s as the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of recorded knowledge treated both as a pure and as an applied science; quite a mouthful.

Needless to say, the scope of informatics is very broad. The fields include nursing informatics, pharmacy informatics, medical informatics, lab informatics, radiology informatics, etc. It can range from the tools utilized to the Project Design and Management. It is an ever growing field with much diversity, challenge and opportunity for professionals.

Back to my nerdness; approximately one year ago, my CNO called me a nerd because I was able to download an application and run a DVD off of a laptop. Not that complicated but leads to the understanding that there are differing levels of competency in regards to informatics and technology.

This led me to volunteering for a Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) workgroup to develop informatics competencies for entry into the acute care hospital setting. This has been a very exciting and collaborative process and will support the institutions in providing entry level orientation to the technologies used on a day to day basis.

My current job description has informatics incorporated into it and I hope to become the Project Manager on the upcoming Pharmacy Pyxis MedStation project. However, reviewing the job postings at the different sites has inspired me to evaluate what I am currently doing and determine what I want to do with my informatics knowledge.

A few years ago, I came to the decision to change my focus from providing for the patients and their families to providing for the nurses. The assessment of my institution clearly has defined the need for a Clinical Informaticists to support the nursing staff in their move forward with EHR, eMAR, clinical documentation, Smart Pumps, Medication Stations, etc. The support would include implementation, initial education, ongoing education, and updates. It is all very exciting.

As I learn and grow within this field, I have determined that being a nerd is not so bad. Actually, I take it as a compliment; it means that I have been recognized as having a body of knowledge and I have been called upon frequently to use this knowledge base. I wonder if that could be a certification – NN, Nerd Nurse.

Links

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Healthcare Information Systems and Project Management

April 29, 2013

Healthcare information systems refer to any technology that meets the needs of clinical management. These computer applications include databases, spreadsheets, statistical applications, decision support systems, and automated systems for research. These sites show the diversity of applications that are designed to support the delivery of care and are utilized in a variety of settings.

As the technology increases, the complexity of integrating these systems into a usable tool for the end user is extremely challenging. Successful implementation of the product is dependent on support from the application specialists and the implementation team and buy-in from the end users.

Project management is complex and critical in the implementation of an information system. Project management provides the guideline and communication for the project from the initial scope to the evaluation of the implementation and ongoing support. Listed below are some sites to support the project manager. We use Gantt charts to help document a project and its progress through the timeline.

http://www.evolt.org/article/A_Project_Management_Glossary/20/15355/

http://www.allpm.com/index.php

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_03.htm

http://www.planonthenet.com/screens.html

Healthcare informatics is a developing specialty. For nurses, certification provides validation of a nurse’s knowledge base in their field of specialty. Usually these certifications are identified as initials after the person’s name. These initials can be important in helping to define the abilities of that person. Certifications include:

1. Board Certification in Nursing Informatics by the American Nurses Credentialing Center http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Certification/NurseSpecialties/Informatics

2. HIMSS – Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) http://himss.org/ASP/certification_cphims.asp

3. Health IT certification – Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT) http://www.healthitcertification.com/about.html

In addition to certifications, there are different educational tracks in Healthcare Informatics. Post-degree certificates, Masters, PhD, DNP, and DNSc degrees are available depending on the route that the Informatics professional chooses to take; research, practice leader, etc.

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Project Managers – Managing Projects, comment

October 9, 2009

Shouldn’t project managers manage? Take accountability and ownership and decision-making? What happens when the project manager doesn’t take ownership? Things begin to fall apart. As part of an implementation team for an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, I am finding that there are many questions and not enough answers. The facility where I work is currently piece-mealing an EHR and it seems that every time we turn around, there is a new glitch. We are currently implementing several systems that don’t seem to interface with each other. Not all staff had being included in the original education and now we are back pedaling to get them educated. Every one in the facility should be taught how to use this system, and that should have been a project managers decision. Alas, it was not and now we are scrambling to educate staff on the nuances of a system that we are only just learning how to use. Caution with the EHR, it can be painful and not just because humans hate change.

Original Post
June 1, 2009
Title: Project Managers – Managing Projects
The project manager must know what the project is, what it is suppose to accomplish, and the time frame it in which should be accomplished in. They must also be aware of the budgetary constraints. The project manager needs to form a team to work on the project with. Each team, and team member, must be aware of his or her responsibility to the team and the project. They must know goals and expectations. To be successful, the project manager must be able to delegate tasks. The project should be broken down in parts and each part be given to the team best suited for completion of that task. In project managements they must be lots of communication. The project manager must be able to communicate with the team (s), individually and as groups. There must be regular scheduled meetings to gage and monitor progress, and to feed back to the stakeholders the progress of the project. These meeting should also include the vendors and the clients of the project and where necessary the end-users. The project manager should keep clear documentation on the progress of the project, to ensure the stakeholders are kept up to date with the progress of the project. This documentation should show any problems encountered during the implementation process, what steps were taken to fix the problem or any changes that were made, and the rational behind the changes. Regular progress reports, and information sharing are essential to good project management and project completion.

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Successful Implementation of New Clinical Systems

June 8, 2009

Being part of the implementation team for new clinical systems or major upgrades is always exciting, albeit stressful and frustrating at time. The programmers have to ensure each system communicated with each other where applicable. We have recently opened an Urgent Care Unit (UCU). It was decided that an Emergency Department Information System (EDIS), and not the current system would better manage the UCU. After the installation of the EDIS, there were the lots testing on the test site before going on to production or live site. The test patients to be admitted, the orders to had to be enter, along with height, weight and allergies. The Lab, radiology, and dietary check their systems to ensure the orders came across as intended. It was discovered that right and left indicators did not show on the other systems. That had to be fixed. Field had to be mapped. Mnemonics had to match. The EDIS had to change a few mnemonics to match the existing mnemonics in lab and radiology. Dietary orders were placed and received as were intended. Then the patients were discharged or transferred to an inpatient status. The test showed the discharges went well. There were some minor hiccups with the transfers, easily fixed by the analysis and programmers. The training for the end users had not been forgotten. The trainers were trained to give instruction to the end user. Finally, the application goes live, after some minor issues It was a success! The next project? Changing the emergency department over to the new EDIS. Being part of the implementation team is rewarding!

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Project management

June 8, 2009

In order for a project to be successfully implemented on the go live date, it requires good planning and adequate resources. A good project manager is a must and well as great team members. The project manager will be required to orchestrate the implementation on the systems application, much like the conductor of a big band, the horns, drums, piano, violins, must enter at the right moments, but, before the big show there must be practice and sound test. When implementing a new system or upgrading an existing one, there must be prior preparation. Meetings must be held to notify the stakeholders and end users of the product, informing them about the product, why it was chosen, the goals and expectations, and their role in the final outcome. Who will be the main players? What are the expect goals and outcomes? What will be the team make up? The other systems vendors the new product will interface with will need to be informed to ensure a smooth integration of all the elements. The new language will have to be converted to a language that will be understood by the existing applications, and translated back to the language of the new application. The new system must be tested along with the current systems. The new system must not just function correctly on it’s on, but must also function in harmony with the existing systems. The new and existing systems must communicate with each other. Any quirks must be fixed ahead of the go live. Included in the implementation of the new system, is how it will be used, who will be using it, and how to use it. Teaching plans must also be set in motion. After all, what good is a new system, successfully installed, if the end user cannot use it, and does not know why it was implemented in the first place?

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Project Managers – Managing Projects

June 1, 2009

The project manager must know what the project is, what it is suppose to accomplish, and the time frame it in which should be accomplished in. They must also be aware of the budgetary constraints. The project manager needs to form a team to work on the project with. Each team, and team member, must be aware of his or her responsibility to the team and the project. They must know goals and expectations. To be successful, the project manager must be able to delegate tasks. The project should be broken down in parts and each part be given to the team best suited for completion of that task. In project managements they must be lots of communication. The project manager must be able to communicate with the team (s), individually and as groups. There must be regular scheduled meetings to gage and monitor progress, and to feed back to the stakeholders the progress of the project. These meeting should also include the vendors and the clients of the project and where necessary the end-users. The project manager should keep clear documentation on the progress of the project, to ensure the stakeholders are kept up to date with the progress of the project. This documentation should show any problems encountered during the implementation process, what steps were taken to fix the problem or any changes that were made, and the rational behind the changes. Regular progress reports, and information sharing are essential to good project management and project completion.

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