Leave Time for Both Testing and Training

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Raymond Belles By Raymond Belles 
Manager, Education and Consulting, McKesson

Home Health Software Implementation TrainingChoosing the location and itinerary of a family vacation is seldom the exclusive decision of a single person. We all know that the more effort we put into accounting for as many needs and preferences up front, the less time we’ll spend at our destination calming temper tantrums and sulky children.

Implementing or upgrading your agency’s home health software system is equally dependent on the input from multiple departments. The process generally includes input from administrators, clinicians, financial staff, trainers, etc. – in addition to your IT staff.

That’s because a comprehensive testing process gives your agency a chance to validate workflow, functionality and interfaces, as well as identify any customization needs. To smooth out the deployment, you may want to roll it out to individual teams or by branch, rather than across the entire organization. Regardless of how fast or slow your deployment, testing as you go is a good idea.

For any application upgrade, testing will need to include the following:

  1. End-to-end workflow testing
  2. System performance testing
  3. Process flow validation
  4. Any custom applications, interfaces and reports

We also recommend that you include your support team (help desk) in the process to allow them to identify potential risks. You’ll want to make sure everyone knows the procedure for calling out errors, whether they’re workflow, functionality or system issues. Any identified changes should follow your organization’s existing change management process.

Finally, as testing occurs, make sure to finalize a detailed plan for end-user education. Your plan should align to the migration approach you’ve chosen, especially the activation of any clinical management functionality. Assuming the interfaces are straightforward, you can plan to spend minimal time on step-by-step instruction. Instead, focus most of the training efforts on workflow.

Although comprehensive testing and training on a system upgrade is nowhere near as fun as planning a family vacation, it’s definitely just as important.

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