Reflections and lessons learnt from a First of Type Go Live: A supplier perspective  

December 16, 2022
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Press release from Medanets

We are happy to announce that our first customer in the UK – County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust  – is live! The Medanets solution was one among the different digital tools the client rolled out alongside the Oracle-Cerner Millennium EPR in their biggest transformation exercise ever. It was amazing to see people coming together and working together for a common purpose and mission – to improve healthcare.

Towards the go-live as #one-team

As we approached our first of type go-live with great excitement and, to be honest, some nervousness, our motto was to ‘be prepared’. The transformation was going to be huge and involve more than 5,000 members of staff at eight different sites. The customer was going to start the use of digital tools comprising workflows that had been co-designed and co-produced with different stakeholders for over 18 months. The common aim of all involved parties was to achieve the goals that the customer had set: nothing less than being the best in the country to deliver care for their patients.

The lead up to the go-live involved a lot of planning, numerous phone calls, and endless testing. We worked closely with the client to understand their current state and then co-produce the solutions that aligned with the customer’s vision. This would never have been possible without the amazing team spirit across all stakeholders. As a partner not that experienced with go-lives of this size, we valued the support from experienced Oracle-Cerner colleagues. We were and continue to be #one team!

 Go Live – a bit of pain but a lot to gain

The first go-live date came on a Sunday. We observed enthusiasm and nervousness amongst everyone involved. The digital team at the Trust had done great work ensuring that the technology was ready to roll. We started the go-live in Accident and Emergency Department, where taking electronic observations into use was completely new and thus meant a significant process change for the staff. Despite this, we observed the staff embrace the change, knowing that this new way of working would improve both safety and efficiency. We helped provide elbow support and troubleshooting on the go.

The wards went live with the solution the next day. We encountered several teething problems, but the people on the ground along with the backend team quickly recognised them, and together with Oracle-Cerner and the client we fixed most of the issues quickly with configuration optimisation and hot fixes. While doing this, the team always kept patient safety as its utmost focus. It was amazing to see how people pitched in and supported each other to solve problems together. The days were long, there were frustrating moments, but the team was resilient. We also had excellent support from leadership who believed in the team.

Some stats from the first 2 weeks of go-live

Some stats from the first 2 weeks of go-live  

#Lessons Learnt:

#Implementation strategy: Using a proven project management framework has helped in successful project delivery.

#One team: The alignment with the customer and the EPR supplier, all working as one team with a common mission really helped. We delivered together, we solved challenges together. Nothing could have been achieved without the hard work and commitment of all stakeholders.

#People:  Not only people’s skills but also right attitudes really matter. Having a team willing to resolve challenges together is key to success.

#Communicate:  It is crucial to communicate effectively. When facing technical challenges, communicating the issue and the resolution to end users in a timely and effective manner is important. Having people with clinical skills on the floor, who can speak the same language as the staff and understand the workflows is important.

#ICE: In case of emergencies (challenges), be prepared.

#Together: Nothing is impossible!


Originally published on 14 December.

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