Are Virtual Go-Lives the Future? The New Horizon of Healthcare Software Implementations

Healthcare, Pharmacy

May 13th, 2020

Healthcare organizations have growing technology needs, but go-lives have been halted. Virtual healthcare software implementations could be the answer.

healthcare software implementations

Implementing new software in your healthcare organization is no easy task. There are many hours of work and preparation that go into an implementation. We know this because we play the role of data liaison between software vendors and end-users. We convert the data from one system to another and clean and archive it, all so organizations can complete their healthcare software implementations.

Typically, in these projects, software teams actually go on-site to the hospital, pharmacy, or other entity. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has made this mostly unfeasible. Thus far, we’ve seen many go-lives pushed out to accommodate for having the software provider on-premise. With such uncertainty about travel, it’s in our entire industry’s best interest to start facilitating virtual implementations.

Top EHR Companies Show Virtual Healthcare Software Implementations Are Possible

An interesting story on virtual implementations came out this week, showing that the approach is possible. Macon Community Hospital, a community hospital in rural Tennessee, determined it needed to migrate to a fully integrated digital system and worked with EHR leader Cerner to do this remotely.

The need for the software upgrade was high, as the hospital helps fight the COVID-19 outbreak. What the new system brings to the hospital is global COVID-19 updates and the ability to more easily share information about the virus with the provider’s CommunityWorks delivery model.

The work on converting began before the pandemic but was not completed. The hospital had two choices: risk an unknown delay of this mission-critical software or work out a way to do it virtually. The hospital and Cerner were able to work out an ideal process that allowed for testing, training, and full implementation remotely.

New Healthcare Challenges Boost Demand for Better Software

virtual go live

As in the example above, the hospital needed to change to a new EHR so they could improve care and understand trends related to the coronavirus. They aren’t alone. Hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacists, and other providers are realizing their EHRs or software platforms are not robust enough to fit their needs.

Add on top of that, the new HHS interoperability rule that defines new requirements for data sharing and patient access, and it’s evident these implementations should be a priority. They can’t stay on hold indefinitely, as the world awaits a reopening. The truth is, virtual healthcare software go-lives make a lot of sense, pandemic or not. 

Virtual Implementations Make Fiscal Sense, Too

Obviously, the most critical objective of a virtual go-live is to keep all personnel safe. However, they also deliver fiscal benefits. Consider the travel costs that can be eliminated from budgets!

The key things need for a virtual implementation come down to technology platforms that allow for secure testing and training. Virtual could also provide greater flexibility on training with specific modules directed at different users. 

As most EHRs and pharmacy software solutions live in the cloud, there are no on-site servers that need configuring. 

While there are considerations about data security and HIPAA regulations, healthcare software vendors and their partners like us, already have all the necessary pieces in place to ensure compliance and data privacy.

Virtual Go-Lives Should be the Future?

The world has shown that being locked down doesn’t mean business stops. We’ve seen a variety of applications that have seamlessly transitioned to virtual. So why not software implementations? Could this be the future for healthcare? What do you think? 

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