If you plan on undergoing a data conversion project in the near future, you may want to take a close look at your leadership. It is a common misconception that the conversion will take care of itself while the data conversion specialist is performing the transfer. In many cases, there needs to be certain leadership in place that can answer questions quickly and effectively. A data conversion project should not be taken lightly. Believe it or not, the strength of your leadership throughout the project will greatly impact the success of the data conversion project. Here are a few things to consider.
1) Has a leader been identified and entrusted to make decisions that align with the best interest of the organization?
Leadership and its ability to break down barriers, build bridges, and define/enforce goals of the conversion is worth its weight in gold. With strong leadership, you can remove disagreement/turmoil from the working ranks when various clinicians give different directions. Without it, you get stuck in analysis paralysis, politics, missed deadlines and milestones, and success flying out the window.
2) Does leadership have defined conversion goals?
If leadership is not engaged (ie. busy/active physician(s) in a practice group) and not readily able to solve problems and make decisions (sometimes difficult decisions) due to either political reasoning, lack of hours in a day, or the mindset that the conversion will merely take care of itself, these shortcomings in leadership will become a detriment to the successful completion of the data conversion. Leadership needs to be strong enough to say “These are our goals, and this is what we are going to do.” Even if it means letting a practice group leave the fold, which does happen at times.
3) Are the physicians recognizant of leadership’s role?
Many times, especially in a large setting (ie. Health System), it is internalized by clinicians that IT is introducing a new system that no one welcomes openly, and that it has to be tolerated because it is being mandated by IT. Clinicians often feel their concerns are not listened to and blame IT when in reality it was a decision made by leadership to benefit clinicians.
4) Who is the leader of the PAC?
In a large data conversion, there needs to be a Physicians Advisory Committee (PAC) to guide clinical decision making with regards to system build or other needed decisions. This committee needs to be made up of a good mix of specialties, as decision making about data differs whether you are an oncologist, surgeon, or specialize in internal medicine. Although it may be challenging to have a committee with differing opinions, it is best for all concerns to be heard in order for a well-informed decision to be made.
If you are preparing for a data conversion project and need a data conversion specialist who can help with planning and implementation, consider Keystone. Our experienced specialists do what they do best by not only getting the job done but also preparing your organization for the migration and making the process as seamless as possible. Contact us to learn more.