Make 'go live' go smoothly

On the morning a new admission/discharge/transfer (ADT) system was going live at one of Fort Myers, FL-based Lee Memorial Health System's hospitals, Colleen Edwards, system director of registration and patient business services, had "a huge fear we would have lines of people, going all the way out the door. But that's not what happened."

Edwards credits the minimal delays to the fact that patient access leaders were closely involved in the entire process before the hospital's fully integrated system was implemented. Here is how they made the "go-live" day go smoothly:

• A large number of trained staff members were onsite.

This step was to ensure everyone had "elbow support," as staff registered patients for the first time using the new system, says Edwards.

• Signs were posted.

"These told people what to expect and asked them to please be patient with us," Edwards says.

• Staff members were required to practice three to five hours a week.

"We involved staff in the backload of scheduled patients which provided them more practice time," Edwards says.

Speed and accuracy has greatly improved in registration areas due to the newly implemented system, she reports. "Before, we randomly picked accounts and review certain fields and notes. Now, we can run reports by user," Edwards says. "We can drill right down to exactly what errors are occurring, how often, and by whom."