"October 2009 Navin, Haffty Report News for the MEDITECH"
October 2009 Navin, Haffty Report: News for the MEDITECH Community News for the MEDITECH Community October 2009 Click to view this email in a browser In This Issue Thoughts from our President Thoughts from our President MEDITECH's Chief Nursing Exec. Two large acquisitions involving companies with a connection to the MEDITECH Symposium - Nov. 5-6 community have occurred over the past month. As most of you are aware, these included Perot Systems agreeing to be acquired by Dell as well as Xerox Executive Information Systems and acquiring Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). To read more about this, we direct Decision Support you to a posting on the Perot System's website from Berk Smith, leader of the Evaluating Information Systems MEDITECH Solutions Group: Staffing Levels http://www.perotsystems.com/meditech/default/Dell.pdf. A Clear Description of the Role of In regard to their connection with MEDITECH, Perot acquired JJWild in August Information Systems 2007 and has since evolved the old JJWild into its MEDITECH Solutions Group. I also know that at one time ACS had a significant presence in the MEDITECH Job Postings market, as I managed their MEDITECH practice when it was Superior Consultant Navin, Haffty is Seeking Experienced Company in the late 1990s, before their acquisition by ACS in 2005. Consultants For those of you who have been around as long as I have (30 years), we really Upcoming Events have seen a lot of changes in the industry. In the ‘old days' most consulting services were provided by management consulting companies with large broad- CNE Symposium-November 5-6, 2009 based firms emerging from the accounting services world; consulting practices such as Ernst and Ernst, (which became Ernst and Young, then CapGemini), HIMSS10 - March 1-4, 2010 Andersen (which became Accenture), Deloitte (which merged and became Deloitte and Touche), etc. These broad-based companies did not focus on any unSummit - May 5-7, 2010 one vendor's solution. As the industry has changed, any resemblance of a MEDITECH Events MEDITECH focus or knowledge base has become all but extinct. Educational Seminars As the next tier of firms appeared in the market, we saw another set of vendors venture into the MEDITECH consulting services space. These included consulting Strategic Workshops companies with a broad industry focus like the First Consulting Group, Superior Consultant Company, HealthLink and others, as well as niche technical or Regional Events software companies such as JJWild and MSM. Many tried to apply the same recipe from one practice to another, assuming success in one implied they could Job Posting be successful in another. In some cases, the results served the MEDITECH If you would like to include your community better, but in most cases these firms had to significantly change their hospital listing on the Navin, Haffty model and approach which proved to be a struggle especially for the larger website, please email organizations. As a result, few survived and many were acquired by large, global firstname.lastname@example.org (Please note this is a courtesy to the MEDITECH community IT companies which minimized their focus or dismantled their MEDITECH practice and we will not accept posting from altogether. recruiting companies or 3rd party companies). As we look out at the current landscape, with this most recent round of acquisitions in mind, there is every reason to expect further changes. However, Navin, Haffty & Associates started in 2001 with one focus: to serve the 200 Cordwainer, Suite 100 508-842-6676 Norwell, MA 02061 781-871-6770 www.navinhaffty.com October 2009 Navin, Haffty Report: News for the MEDITECH Community MEDITECH community and to specialize in its software. We have maintained that focus and have no plans to expand beyond this market. At this time, when it comes to providing strategic planning, project management and application specialists for the MEDITECH community, we remain the largest company that works exclusively in this market. We have had the privilege of serving more than 100 hospitals and health systems each of the past 3 years and appreciate the trust you continue to show us. Navin, Haffty & Associates welcome the professionalism of most of our competitors and believe that healthy competition not only serves you but keeps us sharp and focused. In spite of all the ‘big' transactions, this can sometimes be a ‘small' world and so we do wish our friends at the MEDITECH Solutions Group well with this transition. We hope that Dell/Perot Systems continues to maintain a strong MEDITECH Solutions Group and we encourage our readers to be open to their message as the potential combination should result in some new offerings and services. John Haffty, President Navin, Haffty & Associates MEDITECH's Chief Nursing Executive Symposium on November 5-6 MEDITECH's annual Chief Nursing Executive (CNE) Symposium is being held on Thursday and Friday, November 5-6, 2009. The agenda includes national speakers on nursing leadership as well as CNE's from MEDITECH hospitals. In addition, there will be a case study from Mount Nittany Medical Center on "Supporting Nursing Research with Information Technology" and MEDITECH presentations on "Incorporating Evidence into Nursing Practice" and "Quality Outcomes - the Intersection of Technology and Care Delivery." As always, these are great occasions to network with colleagues facing similar challenges. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the MEDITECH website. Executive Information Systems and Decision Support We are in the midst of updating our research on business intelligence, executive information systems and decision support tools for senior management. These topics represent a broad array of expectations and conjure up different ideas amongst executives. Further, when asking about requirements, often senior management struggles to clearly define what they want and often speak in terms associated with general categories such as dashboards, quality measures, productivity and revenue data sliced multiple ways. Our recent experience has been that while there are several viable options, many products have failed to meet expectations due to an over-selling of capabilities and an under-resourcing of these tools by hospitals. Furthermore, over time many implementations do not maintain the level of staff resources and, in turn, fail to provide the information expected. In the effort to get additional information from our readers on this topic, we invite you to consider participating in a brief survey. If you have selected and implemented such a solution or if you have only considered a system but have not yet proceeded, we would appreciate you taking a moment to respond to a 200 Cordwainer, Suite 100 508-842-6676 Norwell, MA 02061 781-871-6770 www.navinhaffty.com October 2009 Navin, Haffty Report: News for the MEDITECH Community few questions. It is our desire to then share the aggregated results with our readers in the future. As part of this research, we welcome vendors to contact Larry Guay, Sr. Director, Research at Navin, Haffty & Associates to provide references. Larry's email is email@example.com. Please click here to link to the survey. Evaluating Information Systems Staffing Levels One of the many challenges facing Information Systems departments is the balance of justifying current staffing levels and/or seeking increases when budgets are tight. No matter how efficient Information Systems may be in providing technology, it will ultimately be judged on its effectiveness in serving the organization. We are finding some hospital executives are bringing in outside consultants to determine appropriate staffing levels. In some cases, they bring in "benchmark" staffing levels while in other cases they focus on measurable aspects of information services. While some executives find the use of outside measures appealing as a basis for comparison, we struggle with such data and tools as basis for how to determine the correct staffing level for your hospital. More than any other hospital department, Information Systems departments staffing varies with the role and definition within an organization and application of outside measures is often short-sighted. First to consider, are all Information Systems resources part of the Information Systems department or are there other staff performing Information Systems roles? Super-users, embedded Information Systems staff (common in the Lab and Business office), clinical information systems departments or functions that report to nursing or quality departments lead to wide variation in measuring Information Systems staffing and often are the basis of skewed benchmark data. Secondly, Information Systems has to work collaboratively with other departments and over the years, has typically taken the lead or a significant role in departmental initiatives that require or involve Information Systems technology. In our experience, the most effective Information Systems departments are those who enjoy a strong partnership with user departments, bringing their skills to joint efforts that are directed by business unit leaders and providing direction toward overall and over-arching automation goals of an organization. The softer skills of communications often outweigh the harder skills involving technical competence. Further, we have found situations where the focus is on standards such as help desk wait times, turnaround times for trouble tickets and other measurable items. Our opinion is that these measures are secondary in importance to a strategy focused on delivering value. In our experience, it is not measurable items that cause an Information Systems department to succeed or fail in the eyes of hospital executives and department directors. Instead, success or failure is more often based on the effectiveness of providing leadership and direction, working collaboratively with users, and also demonstrating the ability to bring in technology that serves its users. The focus needs to be on the effectiveness of Information Systems in serving its user constituencies, providing direction on how technology can complement work process improvements while guiding all projects toward the common goals of 200 Cordwainer, Suite 100 508-842-6676 Norwell, MA 02061 781-871-6770 www.navinhaffty.com October 2009 Navin, Haffty Report: News for the MEDITECH Community each hospital. No matter how efficient Information Systems may be in providing technology, it will ultimately be judged on its effectiveness in serving the organization. While we discount the focus of some consultants and organizations on efficiency measures, we do strongly recommend use of surveys to gauge user satisfaction and identifying opportunities for improved focus on effective leadership and partnering with user departments. For example, we encourage a regular survey of hospital executives and department directors that asks a limited number of questions. Our surveys usually have a 1 - 4 range of strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. Typical questions we think are important to ask of executives include: - I understand the vision of the Information Systems strategy - The Information Systems strategic plan aligns with my understanding of the organization's strategic plan - Information Systems fulfills its promises - Information Systems enables my division to work more productively For department directors, survey questions often include: - Information Systems understands my department's needs - Information Systems works collaboratively with my department - The tools Information Systems provides and supports for my department meet our department's needs - Information Systems is responsive when my department has urgent needs - I know how the Information Systems plan for the organization impacts my department and my planning We believe questions of this nature provide a gauge on the effectiveness of the Information Systems department and if the scores are low or in decline, provide guidance on where to focus efforts. We recommend running this 2 - 3 times a year and keeping the number of questions at or below 10 so someone can complete this in a few minutes. We hope this is useful and welcome your feedback and suggestions. A Clear Description of the Role of Information Systems Occasionally we pick up something worth repeating in the many magazines and online newsletters. We feel the following quote, which appeared in the October 2009 issue of Healthcare Informatics, "Part I: A Steady Hand" By Mark Hagland, p.42, concisely describes how IS needs to define itself taking into account balanced cost, quality and value to the organization: "Our core vision is to be the low-cost, high quality patient organization, and though we're not going to buy every piece of technology out there, 200 Cordwainer, Suite 100 508-842-6676 Norwell, MA 02061 781-871-6770 www.navinhaffty.com October 2009 Navin, Haffty Report: News for the MEDITECH Community one of our explicit strategic goals is to harness technology." Quoted by George Conklin, CIO of Christus Health, a 44-hospital MEDITECH C/S system, we believe this statement represents some of the clearest thinking we have seen on the topic. Job Postings If you are interested in exploring new positions, go to our job posting section of our website. This is a free service of Navin, Haffty and Associates to the MEDITECH community. Currently, there are 20 postings from MEDITECH hospitals including a number of management roles. If you or a colleague might be interested, check out what's open at the Navin, Haffty website. If you would like to include your hospital listing on the Navin, Haffty website, please email Kelly Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please note that as this is a courtesy to the MEDITECH community, we will not accept postings from recruiting companies). Navin, Haffty is Seeking Experienced Consultants We are pleased to be experiencing significant growth in our business and are seeking additional consultants to join us. We are seeking MEDITECH applications consultants and project managers who consider themselves to be among the best and prefer those with several years of current or recent consulting experience. We have great clients who are seeking additional assistance from us and we realize that the primary difference between consulting companies is the consultants who do the work. At this time, we have specific needs for consultants with strong MEDITECH applications experience in almost all areas but have a particular interest in those with Pharmacy, Nursing/PCS and other advanced clinical applications. We are most interested in those who have experience with the 5.6 and 6.0 versions of Magic and Client/Server. We believe there are significant advantages to being part of Navin, Haffty. Our consultants earn higher incomes, receive more choices in assignments and are provided with a more collaborative work setting than other MEDITECH consulting companies. This approach has led to our record for consultant retention which is the best in the industry. If you are interested please contact Shelly Noyes at email@example.com or call her at 800-561-6005. Please note that at this time, we are only able to consider those able to travel up to 80% of the time. (Also employees from MEDITECH and our clients will not be considered.) 200 Cordwainer, Suite 100 508-842-6676 Norwell, MA 02061 781-871-6770 www.navinhaffty.com