Three Days and Counting. . .

Like many health care provider organizations, the University of Michigan Health System is rolling out a new integrated electronic health record — a program we call MiChart. In just three days, we will be flipping the switch for the inpatient modules at our three hospitals with nearly 1,000 beds. The inpatient modules will be fully integrated with the ambulatory and revenue cycle modules we have already implemented.This is a big deal. To give you an idea of just how big, we have trained 14,000 people to use the new system in the last two months.

The phrase “it takes a village” certainly comes to mind.

Hundreds of people will be on hand during the go live to support users and address problems. 150 application and technical support staff will be ready at a command center. We have 1,300 “super users” and 450 “at the elbow” support staff.  This includes over 200 student interns we have trained during the past month to provide end user support.  It will be valuable, real-world experience for them.

A lot of people have been working on this inpatient stage of MiChart for well over a year. The project team includes hundreds of IT and hospital staff. We have worked closely with our software vendor, Epic, and our implementation partner, Deloitte. Representatives of all major clinical and administrative areas have been part of project governance and structured decision making. MCAN (the MiChart Change Adoption Network) is our formal change management program with over 500 members attending regular forums. 

We have been learning from colleagues, especially those from our peer academic medical centers. They went before us and we will gladly share lessons with others yet to come.  We have been active in the Epic Michigan User Group (eMUG) with the 10 other health systems in the state on Epic. Health care is a competitive environment, but when it comes to improving patient care through technology, we rise above that competition.

Since last October, whenever people anticipate a new IT system, they ask, “Do we have another HealthCare.gov here?”.  In the coming weeks, I hope to never hear that question!

We’ve had ups and downs during the project and have tracked all the issues closely. The actual activation will be no different. There will be issues and, yes, there will be some frayed nerves. But the issues will be triaged, prioritized, resolved and communicated in an orderly manner. The nerves will be calmed as team members support one another.

In three days and counting, we will be focused on making sure that clinicians and ancillary staff know how to use MiChart, and are fully able to do what we at Michigan do so well every day – provide safe, quality care for our patients.

Our village is ready.

Watch for posts on managing change, leadership, teamwork, and collaboration in the coming weeks. With 30 years in health IT leadership roles, I have many experiences to draw on…no question the coming weeks will be rich with new experiences and lessons.

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17 thoughts on “Three Days and Counting. . .

  1. Del Dixon on said:

    Good luck to you and your team. What an exciting way to transform your organization to provide contemporary healthcare in this new millennium. You will be perfectly poised to be nimble with the imminent changes to our complicated national health care system. Bravo.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Del, agree that an integrated EHR can be transformative. Already looking forward to the next stages. Thanks!

  2. Pam Breach Lodge on said:

    Sue, wishing you all the best for a smooth transition to Micha rt! I look forward to following your blog. -Pam

  3. Fadi Islim on said:

    This been such a great experience working with MiChart as an AC for ClinDoc team, I cannot believe how fast the time went by. Now we get to see all the hard work we’ve been giving for the last two years almost to be live and used on real patient by our great clinicians. We worked so hard on this, and we always kept in mind our patient safety first, and we alawys kept in mind our patient family, and we also kept in mind to make this system user friendly and easy to our end users so they can keep and continue with smooth workflow. we had lots of support all the way through, I remember all the days going to work at 5am in the morning thinking I will be the only one there, then I realize there’s people before me, and by 7am DF is almost full. Great Job everyone. I’m honored to say that I worked next to each one of you. lots of stories in such a short period of time.

    Fadi Islim

  4. Wow–talk about massive change management. Thank you for taking precious time to share your wisdom and this experience with the rest of us. What a great opportunity to experience a live rollout by a top-notch institution.

  5. Evan Leitner on said:

    A step toward the future and in the right direction! Great work. Next stop: healthKit integration? :) congrats everyone and keep it up!

  6. Sue:

    Congratulations to your team on this excellent effort. Under the leadership of our CIO, Norma Tirado, Lakeland HealthCare (based on South West Michigan) went through a similar journey a couple of years ago. Last year, we also completed the HIMSS Stage 7 Certification.

    Whats a good way for us to learn more about the Change Adoption Network (which would be a critical part of the enablers driving success). Perhaps, a short chat with your Change team Leader?

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Robin, Thanks for the note. I know Norma — congrats to you all as well. Have Norma send me an email and I’ll get you connected with our Change Adoption Network leader. Sue

  7. Pingback: MiChart – the beat goes on | sueschade

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