Author: Marcia Googe, Project Manager, VerityStream
We at VerityStream love helping our customers! We enjoy the conversation, getting to improve our product from our customer’s recommendations and helping to grow the use of systems. There is another resource in your organization that loves helping you as well but can appear disconnected if not included, and that’s your IT department.
Hospital systems can have thousands of applications to support with a limited number of IT resources to support them. In an effort to ensure your projects are completed on time and with the proper attention paid, it is best to engage IT early and bring them into your planning meetings. Reach out to your Applications Team leadership if you are not already in contact with your Application or Business Analyst. This is often the person or team who can be your gateway to a large array of technical resources.
Analysts have a good understanding of everything the data from your credentialing system touches. Most credentialing systems can send data to a number of systems like provider paging, EMR’s, staffing directories and so on. They can ensure the project you are working on will not adversely affect these downstream systems and incorporate them in the testing. Hospitals and healthcare systems generally have intricate change management, security requirements and other rules around technology that you may not be aware of. On the other side of the same coin, they may not be aware of your bylaws, committee requirements, state regulations and other restrictions that dictate the timing on your scheduling.
The advantage of having a great credentialing system (like CredentialStream, MSOW and EchoCredentialing) is that it is an incredibly robust environment that has many modules, reporting, and the ability to send data to other systems. That robust environment means it requires a more complex infrastructure. The servers need to be up to the correct specifications, licensing may need to be acquired and additional IT resources may be needed. Your IT department will be able to foresee these costs early in your project allowing you to gather the appropriate budget.
We are sure that the Help Desk of your credentialing vendor is eager to help you but having a larger team of support is always better! Sometimes an issue can be caused by hardware, configuration or architecture rather than the application itself. Your IT department can be instrumental in finding this out early on in troubleshooting and will be an active partner with the vendor’s technical team to resolve your issues quickly.
The more involved your IT department becomes with your database structure, the connections to other systems, the licensing, the desktop requirements, the server specifications, the better equipped you will be to optimize performance, write better reports, schedule things to run during off hours and look ahead to planning your next upgrade so you can take advantage of the best your credentialing software has to offer.