INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PLANNING
Success in today’s environment requires health care organizations to effectively integrate long-range business goals with predictable and affordable information technology investments. The fundamental concept underlying our Planning methodology is that a strategic information systems plan should directly support the business plan at a predictable and affordable investment level. Ours is a participative, team approach that incorporates client staff as well as vendor personnel as significant and integral members of the engagement team. The approach features: A proven methodology, automated tools, experienced consultants, consensus driven prioritization, and the grouping of expenditures into infrastructure, strategic and tactical investments. We also use a Cost/Benefit Methodology to assist in assessing potential costs and benefits associated with the implementation of new technology and structured working sessions with client team personnel to collaboratively develop strategies and evaluate I/S alternatives. Our clients gain unbiased, objective assistance with HIS planning and a straight-forward plan written in non-technical language which is consistent with and supportive of the organization’s business goals. Our IT Planning Services include: Development of IT Mission and Vision Creation or Updating of IT Strategic Plans Assessment of Delivery Alternatives, including Outsourcing options Development of Tactical Plans, Annual Budgets and IT Organizational Design Development of JCAHO Information Management (IM) Plans and IM Review Readiness Assessments Third-Party Review of IT Plans and Benchmarking of IT Cost and Strategy Creation of IT Network and Telephony Plans
IT REQUIREMENTS DEFINITION, VENDOR SELECTION & CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
We assist clients develop reliable, practical user requirements, we provide historical and technical assessments of vendor solutions and we can help in contract negotiations. Successfully changing information technology business partners is an expensive and complex undertaking. It all starts with choosing the right solution from a viable vendor. Add to this the business demands of health care organizations and new technologies like cloud computing, mobile devices and complex multi-vendor integrated solutions and engaging a third party with knowledge and experience seems as natural as engaging a lawyer when buying a house. Vendors have developed solutions to address many unique niches but may challenge the integration of information most organizations seek. Also, a large number of small, specialized vendors enter (and exit) the market to meet these rapidly developing requirements. We estimate that health care information systems market supports over 1,500 vendors. We specialize in assisting clients navigate this complex market through requirement definition, sourcing and evaluation of market alternatives, developing consensus on the most cost effective solution, and in negotiating an effective contractual agreement. This is an area where knowledge and know-how are of paramount importance. Our approach features:
- Knowledge of the vendors and changing landscape that will help identify the most promising solutions
- Electronic tools for requirements definition, vendor selection and contract negotiation that reduce the evaluation time and effort.
- Facilitation that helps clients develop organizational consensus on the “right” system based on fit, risk and cost considerations.
- The use of an RFI, RFP and/or Scenario evaluation approaches.
- The ability to leverage our vendor experience in contract negotiation and in assisting your legal counsel with business and technical suggestions.
IT PROJECT READINESS ASSESSMENT
Many health care organizations experience difficulty with embracing change. A major key to success is the ability to recognize and overcome organizational impediments that will limit achievement of full benefits of new technology. The consultant must not only report findings, but also provide implementable recommendations. We assess technology projects using the following six measures:
- Skill – Are the required technical, user and executive skills included in the project?
- Commitment – Are the users, management and IT, committed to the success of the project, or are some “waiting to see” or actively opposed?
- Resources – Are the required resources available to the project when needed? To how many projects are key staff simultaneously committed?
- Technology – Are the hardware, software, network and deployment requirements appropriately addressed?
- Process Change – Is there an accepted methodology to address policy and procedure changes during the implementation?
- Benefit – Are there specific (and quantified where possible) benefit expectations? If not, the measure of success will be general contentment.
It is our experience that when there is a significant weakness in any one of the measures, the project risks overrun in time or budget. When two elements are weak, the project has a substantial risk of not meeting objectives. If three or more measures are substantially weak, the project will probably not be rated a success, even if the installation is completed.
IT OUTSOURCING VALUE ANALYSIS
These days it is not “if” you will outsource some IT functions, it is more often “what” is appropriate to outsource. However,”Outsourcing does not mean abdicating!“ (The Seven Deadly Sins of Outsourcing P92 Jerome Barthelemy) The best way to make the right choices and understand the real value and appropriate focus for outsourcing is to engage a resource with significant experience and a thorough understanding of the nature and potential pitfalls in such relationships. CCG has staff that have assessed, contracted, developed, implemented and managed outsourcing relationships for some of the most complex health care organizations in the country. Our services can range from a quick review of alternatives, to a detailed cost benefit analysis, to an ongoing oversight relationship.
NETWORK ANALYSIS, ARCHITECTURE, INTEROPERABILITY AND TELEPHONY
CCG through our affiliate Computer Network Architects, we undertake projects to assist clients address the analysis and implementation of technology infrastructure. This added dimension allows us to work with our clients on the technical aspects of IT delivery which is often a critical component in our strategic assignments. We do not have preferred relationships with IT supply companies nor do we develop software.