In last week’s blog, we discussed the benefits and risks associated with major technology change. This week we offer perspective on the nine essential readiness activities that will help you prepare for major technology change. It’s important to realize that these nine activities:
- Do not need to be performed in order
- Are mutually exclusive
- Can be executed at any point during preparation
- Document plan performance and business case. Establish key metrics that will allow you to track plan performance and build a case for change. Doing so can identify and quantify areas for improvement, and measure expected value from new technology.
- Clean your data. Clean data is one of the most critical factors that will drive or detract from implementation success. Use lead time to clean up provider and member data.
- Establish controls to maintain data integrity. Maintaining data integrity is essential to technology implementation. Such examples include establishment of file level controls, process controls and routine reconciliation processes.
- Reduce claim work. Analyze volume and root cause of claim adjustments to reduce the volume of claim rework, then implement the necessary interventions.
- Develop your staff. Take action now to create staffing succession plans. It will pay off in the long run when you have the right resources for both implementation and ongoing routine business activities.
- Get organized. Organizing plan documentation — provider contracts, reporting and correspondence inventories, and vendor listings — will be particularly important during RFP development.
- Document workflows, policies and procedures. Include details of the actions taken at each step, handoffs between departments, positions accountable for delivery, time frames, etc. Store the documentation where it’s easily accessible.
- Have a system architecture diagram. Such a diagram will enable you to understand impacts and develop a comprehensive project plan, cost and timeline.
- Understand industry trends. Look to other industries for insights that could influence your approach.
Plan to succeed.
We provide expanded insight and infographics into these nine essential readiness activities in our downloadable white paper, “Preparing for a major technology change: Nine activities to help achieve success.” With the proper preparation and planning, undertaking major technology change will become less daunting.
About the Authors:
David Chennisi, Vice President, System Integration, Optum Payer Consulting
Chennisi has more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry and is a key leader in the Optum Payer Consulting Practice. His teams are responsible for successful systems implementation and integration projects spanning core administrative claims adjudication, medical management, business intelligence/data warehouse and customer relationship management applications. Prior to Optum, Mr. Chennisi served as CIO at Texas Children’s Health Plan.
Lisa Lusby, Associate Director, Optum Payer Consulting
Lusby has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry with a strong background in leading payer operations, health plan strategy, technology implementations and process improvement. She brings clients a unique skill set with breadth and depth of knowledge in every aspect of the payer business. Ms. Lusby specializes in the Government payer sector, Medicaid and Medicare.