The Value of Issue Tracking
Tracking project issues properly and diligently is one of the most important things you can do for your EMR project. Therefore, one of the first things Atlanticon does when joining a hospital project is to assess the manner in which issue tracking is being handled. We review the tool that is being used to track them and how usable it might be for an EMR project. We find that many of our clients lack a suitable way to track their project issues. And who wants to pay $30,000 for a new system just to track issues?
What is an issue?
We should define an issue first. An issue is any outstanding question, concern, problem, or decision that you feel needs to be tracked or documented during a project. Let’s face it – issues begin mounting as soon as the system is selected. Due to the importance of an EMR project, every issue you encounter must be handled carefully. Therefore, all issues must be logged and tracked, reducing the chance of addressing the same item twice – – or not at all.
Atlanticon’s Recommendations for Issue Tracking
- -Recognize the value in documenting key decisions and resolutions
- -Utilize a flexible, report-rich database system
- -Plan ahead and create fields and values that make sense and are useful
- -Determine who will have access to it (we recommend team leaders and PMs)
- -Develop clear rules for logging issues, defining what your team deems an “issue”
- -Make the review of issues a standard part of your regular team meetings
- -Assign someone to oversee the quality of information being logged
Issue Tracking Pitfalls
Project issues belong to you, the hospital. In order to effectively record and track them to completion, you should avoid the following common pitfalls:
- -Don’t try to make the current help desk software double as a project issue tracking system.
- -Avoid utilizing the vendor’s issue system as your only means of tracking issues.
- -Limit how many people access the issue tracking system during a project, because issues need to be consistently managed, updated and driven to completion.
- -Don’t attempt to use a spreadsheet-based software to track issues, due to the lack of reporting ability.
- -Don’t wait too long to begin tracking issues.
Atlanticon has created an Access based issue tracking system called HITS, which stands for Hospital Issue Tracking System. It was developed for use at all our client sites to help them alleviate the cost of purchasing a system specifically for tracking issues. Because HITS became so well utilized, we decided to give it away to any hospital that has an issue tracking need. It’s our way of helping offer something to the healthcare IT community – especially those hospitals that are watching a budget.
Your project can be so much more successful if you simply track your issues. Contact us at Business.Services@Atlanticon.net if you’d like to discuss a free copy of this software.