Over the last 4 years, the number of fixes and updates, initiatives and projects that have inundated IT departments across the country has increased 20 fold. Implementing EMRs in the past was much simpler and easier than now due to the sheer amount of regulatory updates that EMR vendors have to include in their software. Healthcare provider organizations are asked to keep their budgets the same or slightly increased, but have 20 times the amount of work pumped out each year, even though their goal of implementing an EMR solution is to makes life better, faster and cheaper for the triumvirate of patients, physicians or clinicians.
The gap between actual effort and the number of resources required to get that work accomplished on time is increasing. Not enough time to get things done has unfortunately become a norm in healthcare IT organizations regardless of how well they are planned. Each week, the number of initiatives and projects that healthcare information technology professionals have to face becomes more and more as more projects fall on their laps and are required to be completed due to immediate operational pressures behind them. Healthcare IT departments just do not have the time or money to get more of these projects done without much more increased operational and financial support.
What drives analysts to work more hours is part of organizational dynamics. Some healthcare analyst in the IS departments work many long hours and if people wanted to work longer, your manager may let you, depending on their style of functioning. The expectations and the pressures of internal healthcare IT customers (physicians and operational departments) are high and intense in this day and age. Many project analysts make professional moves between different healthcare organizations and the turnover between hospital IT departments has been exceptionally high of late, due to seasoned professionals feeling the effects of many priorities at the same time. Watch out for the resource hungry beasts. Plan for them and make sure that you understand all that you are in for prior to getting yourself in too deep before you realize this. Make sure that operations and the physicians realize this. For many it is too late to turn back now, after hundreds of millions of dollars spent on implementation, but understanding the problem now is at least a step in the right direction.
Fixing it is another blog post entirely…stay tuned, same blog, same location.