APD’s Technology Journey: Building Bonds Across the System
Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital's transition to system software was more than a technological transformation. Relationships and friendships formed over months of preparation, signaling the start of an era in which once separate members now work together.
APD began its integration journey in 2018 by bringing Human Resources, Finance and Supply Chain together in one enterprise resource planning system. Next came deployment of new hardware campus-wide. Finally, APD began to implement eD-H, the unified electronic health record system that allows seamless integration with other system members, and gives patients the benefits of coordinated care across the system. A team of APD and D-HH colleagues embarked on a five-month journey of learning and training in practice environments to bring hospital employees up to speed on eD-H.
As “go-live” approached, APD began holding a daily “huddle” to allow department representatives to ask questions and get help troubleshooting issues. D-HH colleagues joined in person or by phone. Issues were tracked over time, and people expressed concerns and let off a bit of steam.
“It was a great partnership with D-HH, from top to bottom,” says Dale Vidal, MD, MS, executive director, Multi-Specialty Clinic at APD. “Everyone knew it would be hard, but we were dedicated to adapting and learning. Lines of communication were a key reason behind our success, keeping everyone on the same page and able to solve problems in the moment.”
After months of preparation, APD went live with eD-H in May. “Cross-functional teams from D-HH and APD worked together tirelessly to make this happen,” says Kristen Kneisel-Leaning, associate vice president for Information Services, Laboratory and Radiology at APD. “Working closely with the D-HH leaders and project managers, we carefully laid the groundwork to ensure a successful transformation to D-HH systems.”
Following go-live, 134 D-HH colleagues wearing bright yellow vests for easy identification arrived on campus to provide “at-elbow” support for two weeks. D-HH leaders and managers attended APD’s daily huddles, listening, responding to issues, and sharing tips, tricks and information.
“The best thing about go-live was having D-HH doctors from other sites right there with us to help with the transition,” says Erin McNeely, MD. “People who do the same job as you really understand how to use the tool in the way you need to use it. Without physicians and other staff at-elbow for our go-live, our patient care visits might have come to a grinding stop.”
“The at-the-elbow support people were easy to work with,” said Michele Moore, clinical support representative. “We were all trying to achieve the same goal of creating a seamless system for patients.” Moore says the at-elbow support allayed any anxieties.
What surprised APD most about the transition? Because it was so well planned and closely monitored, Vidal says, the go-live was essentially “uneventful.” “After at-elbow support ended, we knew that if we had issues with eD-H, there were trusted colleagues we could always call,” she added. “That was the best surprise—the lasting relationships we formed.”