Articles

Why do we continually throw our competitive advantage away??

By Darcey Trescone

 

 

Competitive advantage is what any organization in any industry strives for. There are numerous articles and hundreds of books written about “How to gain a competitive advantage”. In the homecare and hospice industry we continue to ignore that a solid Electronic Health Record implementation becomes irrelevant once the initial purchase is made.

Competitive advantage is gained when there is a cost advantage (we provide the same service as a competitor at a lower cost) and a differentiation advantage (we provide same service as a competitor, but our services are considered superior or preferable to our competitors by our customers). When the decision is made to purchase a new software system most executives are looking for operational efficiencies and a high staff satisfaction, but this is not carried forward during the implementation of the new system. Does your organization fall into this population?

Why software implementations fail and the most commonly heard responses from executives.

 

Gaining competitive advantage could be as simple as project oversight responsibility on your team while maintaining your executive involvement in the implementation. Building the value proposition from top leadership down to the individual employee is key in achieving total stakeholder buy in across your organization and achieving implementation success.

 

Project Oversight High Level:

  1. Identify the real issues – interview each functional area, understand the workflow and figure out exactly what you want to improve and what will make your teams satisfied with the new tool.
  2. Stakeholder engagement – involve people who may be affected or can influence the implementation of decisions.
  3. Create Shared Value – why do your stakeholders including your patients want or need this project to be successful.
  4. Set realistic timeframes – consider vacations and employee hours worked…requiring people to work their regular 10-hour day plus another 1-2 hours or more a day to support your implementation is just craziness.
  5. Align the work flow/teams – how do your business operations flow and ensuring you have the right people from each functional area working together to ensure efficient handoff of information.
  6. Manage the expectations through regular meetings, good communication and supporting timely business decisions about how you will function with the new HER software.

Seeking objectivity from an outside source is very valuable in guiding this whole process. An outsider view on what is going well, what is going wrong and potential risks to watch out for as the project progresses can help uncover areas both the vendor and your team may miss.

If you presently have a competitive advantage without a solid software implementation than you are lucky.   This may change in 3-5 years as your market grows and new competitors are after the same business and competitive advantage in your space.

 

Darcey Trescone

By Darcey Trescone on Tuesday, May 22, 2018