Ten Lessons Learned from Healthcare Organizations on Selecting and Implementing Financial Management and Accounting Software for Their Needs

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A research study titled, "Going Against the Grain," was conducted with the purpose of learning why some healthcare organization administrators have pushed for a best of breed solution like Microsoft Dynamics GP versus a 'bolt- on' financial application from a larger healthcare package. What did they learn by investigating these packages? What drove them to consider other systems?  In conducting their interviews with healthcare decision makers they uncovered ten ‘lessons learned’ about managing the software selection and implementation process for healthcare organizations:

1. Focus on adoption, not just deployment: Technology is only as good as the users who use it (or don’t).  The system must be simple, familiar, because resources are scarce and healthcare organizations tend to have limited or no IT personnel to divert from the clinical side to devote to the business side.

2. Build from the bottom up:  To get adoption, build buy-in from the lowest levels of the organization first, because those are the people who will actually have to use a system (or not) to accomplish their tasks.  Empower the staff to help select systems, not just the senior managers.  

3. Hunt for the real story:  Vendors will naturally provide names of current satisfied customers.  But you need to find out the problems with that the system you are evaluating.  The way to do this is to ask vendors for customers who have switched to their system, which they will gladly provide.  Interview them to find why they switched from systems you are considering.  

4. Blow the whistle on bells & whistles: Make sure department heads don’t get caught up in sophisticated, costly features that vendors like to talk about when you may simply be shopping for a system that  meets your needs to lower costs, improve decision making, streamline payroll and enables compliance with regulations.  

5. Don’t build a system just for your current needs:  If you just pave the existing path, you will not gain process improvements.  Be sure to explore what your future requirements will be.  

6. Avoid dead-end proprietary systems:  A hospital or clinic is no place for systems that don’t work well together.  

7. Talk it up:  Be sure to engage cross-functional teams to discuss implementation of alternative systems as well as individual discussions with each department.  

8. Engage nay-sayers to test your hopeful assumptions up front:  engage a team – such as your internal auditors – to poke holes in your ideal right from the beginning – instead of the end.  

9. Show me: Guard against verbal promises made by the vendor sales force and the reality of what gets implemented in the field.  Get it in writing. 

10. Remember It’s all about the patients:  At the end of the day, the role of financial system software is to get the job done and get out of the way!

One administrator decided to take a nontraditional path in selecting a financial system for his very successful, fast-growing hospital system. The research study explores what led Micah Laughlin, VP of Information Services at Regency Hospital Company, to eschew the added-on financial modules of large hospital packaged systems and select Microsoft Dynamics GP. 

By OmniVue Business Solutions, Specialists in Microsoft Dynamics GP for Healthcare, Atlanta, Georgia Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

5 thoughts on “Ten Lessons Learned from Healthcare Organizations on Selecting and Implementing Financial Management and Accounting Software for Their Needs”

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