Thursday, August 11, 2011

Classic & Contemporary Lessons Learned - For Your ICD-10 Project (Part 1)

Anyone who’s been involved with large business and information technology projects for a handful of years – or, in my case, more than two handfuls and two ‘feetfuls’ of years, knows that applying lessons learned from earlier projects increases the likelihood of success in subsequent projects.

So…assessing your healthcare business processes and software applications and bringing them into compliance with the October 2013 ICD-10 mandate will be a complex and huge undertaking.  Here’s Part 1 of a multipart post on Classic and Contemporary Lessons Learned that I believe apply to all projects in general and ICD-10 projects in particular.

1.   Make sure upper management informs and supports department managers and business SME’s in regards to the importance of working with systems analysts, architects and other project staff doing the grunt work assessment and solution design.

      {Many times a 5-10 minute response from someone who knows will save an inquiring mind hours of time!}

2.   Clearly define primary contacts for core business areas and topics.  Note secondary backups and the process for escalating issues both internally and externally.  Do your best to allow project resources to know they will not be reproached for escalating what they consider valid issues.

{It’s human nature to want to do a good job.  Also human nature to want to avoid blowing up dust unless one believes they’ll move some dirt!}

3.   Develop an organization chart and SME contact list.  Add information as to preferred contact methods and working hours.  Keep it up to date and consider allowing everyone to take responsibility for enriching and maintaining it.

{We all have a life and preferred method of interaction – honor these preferences!}

4.   Create an acronym list and a glossary of consistent terminology and definitions.  Post it for all to reference and maintain.

{People like us speak a strange language.  Don’t make others guess what something means!}

5.   Carefully decide who should be in meetings: make sure that only the correct resources are invited based on the subject matter, meeting purpose and attendee value.

{Who among us likes to attend meetings that waste our time and place us father behind?}

Simple ideas, eh?  They seem obvious; and yet are often not recognized and followed. 

Check back for Part 2 of this multipart series on Classic Lessons Learned for Your ICD-10 Project.

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