What We Do Guiding Healthcare IT
HIT Strategy & Guidance Services For Health Care Organizations Initiative Strategy Development Services Conformance With Corporate Vision Business Strategy Alignment Business Requirements Analysis Best of Breed vs. Integrated Suites ‘Big Bang’ vs. Phasing Program & Project Initiative Planning Services Requirements & Scope Clarification Solution Procurement: Structure Planning: Solution-Based Project Planning Business Engagement Techniques: Active Oversight & Steering: Testing & Readiness Validation Services Testing & Readiness Strategy Design Testing Methods & Technologies Installation Turnkey Testing Platform Installation Business Change Management Planning Services Adaptation Planning Change Capacity Assessment Organizational Readiness Assessment Site Leadership & Oversight Communications Vehicles Tailored Program or Project Launch Services Work-Focused Training Non-Disruptive Data Gathering Methodologies Enhanced Go-Live Support Methodologies Business Continuity Planning Services Technical Outage Planning Business Systems Outage Management Planning Program & Project Management Services Supplemental Staffing Project Management Practice/Capacity Assessment Project/Program Management Training & Process Development Project Scope Definition and Control Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) Scheduling & Time Management Staff Resource Planning and Control Risk Management Issues Management Procurement in a Project Environment Financial Control & Earned Value Project Communications Deliverables & Quality Management Project/Program Sponsorship Seminars Project Restoration Services Project Assessments Troubled Project Restoration Project Management Supplemental Staffing Services Program Directors Senior Project Managers Project Managers Project Specialists Schedule Coordinators Financial Analysts Team Workplace Specialists
Initiative Strategy Development Services Conformance With Corporate Vision – RTC helps clients recognize and validate how a proposed IT initiative (a large project, or a multi-dimensional program) will facilitate their corporate vision. It is not unusual to find the vision conceived by top management is not fully understood throughout the organization. As a result,  it is essential that promotional campaigns for proposed initiatives reflect that vision and are fully understood by all stakeholders. Business Strategy Alignment – RTC helps clients assess potential technologies in terms of the specific ways they can be harnessed to streamline operations or improve their product and/or customer services. RTC turns this information into estimates of impact or business value that can serve as the basis for project ROI analyses. This information usually also serves as the starting point for the business process adaptation or transformation planning (click here for information on RTC’s Business Adaptation Planning services) Business Requirements Analysis – RTC helps its clients to determine the specific ways in which a potential HIT solution must work with and improve its health care functions and services. In this way, RTC prepares its clients to make the most appropriate selection from the HIT products currently in the market. Best of Breed vs. Integrated Suites – The health care sector is made up of many care-providing verticals or care programs (radiology, pharmacy, laboratory, primary care physicians, nursing care, etc.). Integrating information from all of these verticals for each patient is universally acknowledged as essential to improving care and reducing costs. There is more than one way to achieve the desired level of integration. While no one application suite does it all, many in the market achieve it to a substantial degree. Functionality trade-offs must be accepted if the integrated suite path is chosen. RTC assists clients in conducting an open assessment of these alternatives. These assessments are vital to an effective level of endorsement for and commitment to the client’s selected approach. ‘Big Bang’ vs. Phasing – The newer integrated suites provide a much greater potential for business impact and ROI, but also presume significantly greater amounts of business investment and change. Implementation can be achieved all at once or in a building-block manner. Many factors go into this decision. RTC helps clients fully assess these alternatives and decide the approach that best fits their objectives and resources. Program & Project Initiative Planning Services Requirements & Scope Clarification – Most organizations have identified the problem they want to solve or the overall objective to achieve. The requirements need to recognize, anticipate, and maximize the unique characteristics and services of the organization. RTC helps organizations lay out these expectations systematically, as well as document the business values and set the ROI. Solution Procurement: Increasingly within health care, organizations prefer to procure a commercially-available information technology product that can be configured to meet its needs. In nearly all solution categories, there are multiple vendors and products. RTC conducts analyses and comparisons of relevant vendors for our clients so they can make an informed selection of a best-fit product. Structure Planning: In reality, a wide variety of potential combinations of technologies and structures can be used to run a given initiative. Deciding how to structure an initiative is one of the most significant events impacting its ultimate success. The methods and structure must fit the project and the host culture. RTC’s well-rounded experience within health care and other service organizations assures that the best possible structure and process is selected for client initiatives. Solution-Based Project Planning – RTC understands that a reliable project plan/schedule for a commercial application (COTS) is a special kind of plan/schedule. We build schedules that are based upon the work that must get completed. And that work is based on a detailed understanding of how the vendor’s application functions, especially how it achieves advanced process integration. Furthermore, the work is specified in a manner that reflects actual: (1) available configuration methods, (2) data interdependencies, and (3) relational sequencing of the build. Failure to address these matters and others virtually guarantees schedule and budget disappointments. Business Engagement Techniques: - RTC specializes in IT initiatives that are business-improving or changing efforts. We help clients successfully engage the business in all phases of an initiative. Active Oversight & Steering: - Too often, large initiatives end up seriously disappointing the business in one way or another. RTC helps clients devise oversight strategies that keep things on track without requiring massive effort. Click here for further information on Project Management Services Testing & Readiness Validation Services Testing & Readiness Strategy Design: RTC understands that health care IT applications directly impact patient care. The system must be right all the time, as lives are at stake. Even when a commercial package is implemented, there is much to be validated. This is especially the case with the more complex applications, such as integrated clinical suites. RTC helps clients fashion a rigorous testing approach that focuses on the areas of probable risk. RTC’s testing methodology also confirms load capacity. Sputtering technology makes mistakes. Testing Methods & Technologies Installation: The IT testing discipline has come a long way in the past 15 years. Both simple and complex technologies can be used to substantially reduce the effort while increasing the coverage. RTC helps clients better understand the range of technologies and the related levels of risk avoidance they achieve. With this information, clients make more effective allocations of limited testing funds. These RTC methods, whether written test cases or automated testing suites, provide a level of documentation that assures the desired levels of validity. Turnkey Testing Platform Installation – RTC understands that one of the biggest impediments to the use of testing technologies is the time it takes to correctly install, configure, and master the use of a testing tool. While the user interface for these tools has improved considerably, there is still a lot of work to master. RTC helps its clients quickly get past all of this activity, get familiar with the product, and actually apply it to the needs of their project Business Change Management Planning Services Adaptation Planning – The new health care IT applications are specifically engineered to change business processes, including clinical business activities. Indeed, the advanced levels of automation in such functions/activities as orders processing, meds administration, and others are designed to integrate previously separate processes. It is essential that organizations foresee and plan for these changes to their operations. RTC focuses on maximizing the client’s defined business objectives by systematically analyzing the improvement opportunities inherent in the new HIT solution. Change Capacity Assessment - Like all organisms, organizations have unique capacities for change. Understanding the present capacities, as well as existing barriers, is a key step in change management. RTC provides clients with methodologies to measure their readiness for carrying out the expected changes from their new system. RTC also makes recommendations on steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of existing barriers. Organizational Readiness Assessment – RTC understands that addressing future change is always postpone-able in organizations, like health care providers, who regularly face urgent immediate operational needs. Yet, large scale business changes from IT applications cannot succeed without rigorous business preparation. RTC helps clients configure business process change activities in lock-step with the technology side of the project. This linkage assures there will be no large-scale gap between essential business processes and the final IT product. Site Leadership & Oversight - Often in large organizations or centrally-driven projects, too little attention is paid to local site management. Even when local management is engaged, essential steps are required to assure that a multi- component project comes together effectively. RTC’s business focus provides methodologies to guide the local change management effort. We also create central and local oversight groups who assure that participating departments are informed and ready for the coming changes. Communications Vehicles – When IT initiatives promise to make significant changes to the business operations of a complex organization like a hospital, it is usually necessary to ramp up some extraordinary communication vehicles. Keeping everyone who will have to work with the implemented system informed is essential. RTC offers innovative techniques and channels that can be launched to sustain enthusiasm and anticipation among the numerous constituencies and stakeholders in the healthcare setting. Tailored Program or Project Launch Services Work-Focused Training - The newest systems are used by most care givers, usually in the act of providing care. User training is no longer a luxury. RTC helps clients understand that such training must be done in the context of the work itself for it to be successful and helps develop training methods that account for individual differences and competencies. Non-Disruptive Data Gathering Methodologies - Because one of the more costly aspects of new systems is the gathering and loading of existing clinical, administrative, and patient data, RTC provides clients with a range of data gathering strategies, both manual and automated, that make it possible to load their data in an economically manageable manner. Enhanced Go-Live Support Methodologies - Launching business-changing technologies is complex and the extent of required operational change is typically quite disorienting for impacted staff – even after thorough training. Patient care can easily be impaired. RTC provides a variety of go-live techniques that rapidly build staff confidence and produce the least impact on patients during major change. Business Continuity Planning Services Technical Outage Planning – We understand that most health care providers run their business with multiple application vendors and technologies. RTC helps its clients develop scheduled systems maintenance and outage plans that account for the entire platform and keep the users up-to-date via enhanced status distribution techniques. Business Systems Outage Management Planning – Various health care certification authorities require service continuity plans, and for good reason, as systems outages do occur. With the advent of integrated enterprise applications, preparing for maintenance outages and restoring  system services requires carefully orchestrated activity at the point of care. RTC helps its clients determine how services will be delivered when various types of outages occur, how departments prepare for cut-overs to manual operations, and how recoveries are completed without compromising patient records in the process. Program & Project Management Services Supplemental Staffing – RTC provides clients with experienced personnel to staff selected positions on an interim basis or for the duration of the initiative. In all cases, the focus of our staff is to enable clients to ultimately become self sufficient. See further details Project Management Practice/Capacity Assessment – RTC helps clients who find they have very dispersed project activity, much of which provides rather disappointing results in spite of significant expense. Our emphasis in these engagements is to provide a tailored remediation program that can be followed to systematically improve project management practices company-wide, as well as achieve a tangible improvement in related costs. In other cases, RTC helps clients enhance their current project management practices and upgrade them to the more sophisticated measures required for more complex program implementations. Project/Program Management Training & Process Development – Frequently, RTC helps clients install new project or program management processes quickly. We are also ready to design, and implement if desired, staff training programs on these new procedures. Our training can focus on any and all of the following PM skills Project Scope Definition and Control For clients that experience persistent disputes over project expectations and disenchantment with results, RTC staff provides a number of methods that can be used to achieve clarity over project scope and objectives. These methods include processes that can be used to control the evolution of project scope so that (1) realistic project schedules can be maintained, (2) business needs are met, and wasteful “gold plating” can be pre-empted from negatively impacting project costs. Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) One of the bigger reasons for project schedule disappointments is a failure to realistically identify all the work that is needed to achieve project objectives. RTC’s project experiences span a wide array of work and project deliverables, including various business programs or a wide range of information technologies. One of the benefits of this diverse portfolio is that we are quite knowledgeable in constructing WBSs. We have provided repeatable methods to our clients that have allowed them to be more successful in constructing reliable WBSs for even the most complex health care projects. Scheduling & Time Management Building on our WBS methods, we have shown clients how to build realistic schedules with essential dependencies. Staff Resource Planning and Control One of the more disruptive events for a project is when resources are not made available at the point they are needed. To avoid this class of setbacks, RTC can provide its clients a variety of methods to estimate the timing and quantity of needed project staff resources. RTC can also help its clients determine the most applicable method of staffing for a particular project or program. Risk Management RTC has helped clients implement R&D or leading edge technology projects. We have also helped clients implement multi-dimensional programs that had to be brought on-line to fulfill essential, time-bound business objectives. These classes of projects invariably entail substantial business risk that must be managed. RTC understands the criticality of avoiding or minimizing project risk. This knowledgebase is always available to every RTC client. Issues Management One of the certainties of a project is the inevitability of change and periods of uncertainty. Rigorous management of issues for a project is the very best way to reduce the impact of uncertainties. In our Project Restoration work, we have developed a very strong and successful issue management processes. RTC has formal methods and tools available to any client who desires to get a real handle on this particular project management challenge – issues management. Procurement in a Project Environment In nearly all projects, a key ingredient for success is a very efficient purchasing process and contracts management discipline. In the vast majority of projects of moderate to large size, there are a variety of external resources that must be obtained on a timely basis. Those resources must also fully understand what is expected of them. RTC has helped a wide variety of public and private organizations improve its capacity to; (1) define its external needs, (2) secure a responsive vendor/contractor in rapid fashion, and (3) carefully monitor expenditures and deliverables by such parties Financial Control & Earned Value Financial control over projects will always be a challenge, if for no other reason than a project always contains a certain degree of uncertainty. While a project “cushion” is a tool to help with delivery within budget, it is never enough. It is RTC’s experience that financial control has just as much to do with: (1) the degree of R&D and risk in a project, (2) a realistic WBS for the project, (3) careful scope management, and (4) strong business stakeholder engagement. RTC has helped a number of clients to more effectively pull all of these elements together to achieve greater project financial control. Project Communications At RTC, we have learned that project communications is about achieving and sustaining project knowledge within an organization. One of the key bedrocks of this kind of communication is to achieve an early broad understanding over project goals and objectives. After that, the other key element of a successful project communications program is timely updates on present achievements and forward-oriented plans and expectations. The target of these communications must be all stakeholders and their constituencies. Deliverables & Quality Management One of the elements of a successful project is that it has clearly understood deliverables (usually tied to the WBS), that have discernable requirements, and fully meet the needs of the business.RTC knows that the time pressures of a project create a lot of momentum undermining the need to validate that the deliverables go through this process. RTC offers its clients a “toll gate” process on deliverables that literally weaves in quality assurance processes within the larger work process. Project/Program Sponsorship Seminars – One of the newer concepts in the project and program management disciplines is the importance of sponsorship. While clients may understand the necessity, they may also be uncertain how to make it successful. We help clients clarify roles and expectations for sponsorship, and assist in the instruction of potential sponsors. Project Restoration Services Project Assessments – RTC helps clients swiftly evaluate a current project that is not progressing satisfactorily. We provide tailored, specific, corrective actions that can be immediately undertaken by the client, on their own or with our continuing assistance or guidance.  Troubled Project Restoration – RTC helps clients manage and restore projects that have suffered serious set-backs. These engagements are usually follow-on work to project assessments where the negative findings are extensive and the client needs rapid recovery. Project Management Supplemental Staffing Services RTC provides clients with experienced personnel to staff selected positions on an interim basis or for the duration of the initiative. In all cases, the focus of our staff is to enable clients to ultimately become self sufficient Program Directors – RTC can provide individuals that have extensive levels of project leadership experience and are capable of leading very complex enterprise- wide technologies or applications composed of numerous subprojects and project managers. The work of these individuals is directly accountable to the top management of their client organizations, and the duration of their initiatives is usually multi-year, and the scale of effort is usually very material to the overall corporation. Senior Project Managers – RTC can provide individuals that have 3-5 years of technically complex project management experience. They are fully accountable for their project to both the IT Department and its business user organization. They are experienced in managing complex projects that have multiple objectives with multiple accountabilities. This level of project competency is also needed with cutting-edge initiatives that are not well understood or include significant levels of risk. Project Managers – RTC can provide individuals to lead projects with a limited scope, duration, or risk. Project Specialists – There are a number of project skill or functional areas that may require dedicated resources on a large-scale project or initiative. Often, these specialists are needed to staff a Project Management Office (PMO). RTC can provide individuals that can provide specialized assistance in the following areas: Schedule Coordinators – These individuals are experienced in developing detailed activity and task schedules using such tools as Microsoft Project. Financial Analysts – These individuals are experienced in developing project budgets, tracking financial performance, earned value, and contract compliance monitoring. Team Workplace Specialists – These individuals are experienced in implementing project team communications and work technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint.
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