After months and months of researching, planning, vetting suppliers, and deciding on the perfect solution, you have received the final approval for a new credentialing system and are ready to launch! Well, almost. The next phase of your project has just begun – Implementation. While implementing software may be a daunting task, creating a detailed rollout plan with clearly defined steps for you and your team will save you time and money. Following these simple steps will ensure a successful implementation!
1. Clarify Needs
Organizations with the most successful implementations can prioritize their wants and their needs. A need would be a common, electronic application and aligned reappointment cycle if your providers have high crossover among hospitals. A want may be enterprise-level privilege forms. Common privileges are certainly ideal, but they aren’t necessary to launch centralized credentialing. Take caution in attempting to standardize everything at once as it may overburden resources and lead to significant project delays
2. Establish a Realistic Timeline
While your credentialing vendor will create a detailed project timeline, following the timeline is essential in completing goals and milestones to finish implementation promptly. Weekly reviews with your team will help you stay on track with the implementation. Plan for distractions along the way. Do not risk the integrity of the project for a shorter timeline. A quality implementation can consist of rolling out functionality in stages.
3. Assign a Project Leader
Having a dedicated team member to oversee implementation is necessary for success. This will allow you to allocate the time needed to complete tasks and keep the project flowing. The leader will handle the needs and concerns surrounding implementation through configuration and integration.
4. Develop a Change Management Plan
Successful projects incorporate a detailed and evolving change management plan. Two key components of change management are generating buy-in and creating a plan for communication of relevant details. Buy-in and communication will remain important throughout the phases of the project and beyond. Identifying change champions to drive the goals of the project will most certainly yield results. Without positive encouragement, your project could be delayed, or employees may not use the software as planned.
Do not underestimate the need to communicate. It is key to communicate with each team as they have different goals. Consider who, what, why, how, and when in all communications related to the project. Have a solid and succinct elevator speech but be prepared to adjust your communication depending on the audience. Whether it’s an enterprise executive, an employee of the Medical Staff, Managed Care/Enrollment, Quality department, a physician leader, or a Medical Executive Committee member, be able to articulate the benefits of the change you are presenting.
6. Develop an Ongoing Training Plan
After launching, continuous training is essential for optimal performance and growth. It will take time for all users to become familiar with the new program. Employing tailored training sessions to targeted groups will achieve greater results to success. Workshops, webinars, and online resources are excellent tools to further knowledge and understand of the software.
Following these six steps will help you achieve success and eliminate the implementation blues of your new software. Implementing a new software requires a team of leaders, medical staff, end-users, and your new vendor to share and communicate through the process for seamless results!