Recruiting fresh talent within the interoperability space is becoming increasingly difficult. This is due to the high demand on a rapidly changing industry, requiring a very high degree of specialisation and lots of experience. At Oracle Cerner, we have a similarly very high demand of new projects, and therefore talent within the interoperability space is frequently needed. Not having enough people within teams may result in either delays or cancellations to projects, since interfaces and data migrations are essential to any EHR implementation.
One of the possible solutions evaluated was to introduce a talent educational programme for the breadth of interfaces they could encounter, leading to the establishment of the Foreign System Interface (FSI) Academy. Its goal is to recruit recent graduates and give them the required training to perform this role. This is an approach that has been successful in the past for solution consultants, but had never been attempted in a technical space, such as interoperability.
For the academy to operate effectively, Caroline Asher, senior director of consulting operations, initiated a plan to identify between 20 and 30 candidates to interview, hire, onboard, and train within a year. Despite the many challenges along the way, there are now nine new faces in the team who have completed 14 weeks of training. This covered healthcare IT, implementation methodology, consulting and presentation skills, interfaces, and data migrations, and they are already supporting implementations at client sites.
The FSI team at Oracle Cerner are responsible for implementing the technical mechanisms that allow the exchange of information between our solutions and external systems. Those interfaces share mostly clinical information, but may also include demographic, billing, supply chain, and financial data, amongst other elements.
This team is structured into two main job categories: interface architects (IAs) and interface engineers (IEs). IEs are responsible for technical configuration, while IAs work on the interface design, project scope, and implementation strategy.
The FSI Academy is focused on the onboarding of new hires who do not have any previous working experience and will be working as IEs. The training plan is distributed in five major categories:
- Compass: Intended to provide a quick overview of the tools and policies that every associate joining the company must be aware of.
- Corporate-required training: Self-directed regulatory training that every associate joining the company must complete. They include education about data protection laws, security, quality, and internal procedures.
- Consulting Academy: An intensive four-day training programme focused on understanding basic concepts around healthcare workflows, implementation methodology framework, consulting skills, organisation structure, and Oracle Cerner solution overviews.
- Level 1 technical training: How to utilise different interoperability tools and standards that IEs need to be familiar with, such as OpenPort, OpenEngine, OPENLink®, CCL, and HL7.
- Level 2 technical training: At this stage, associates are given the choice between specialising in Cerner Millennium® interoperability or Health Information Exchange (HIE). Based on their decision, the group is split in to two – one for FSI and another for HIE. FSI Level 2 includes further technical activities around interfaces and data migrations, while HIE Level 2 includes first-of-a-kind facilitated training about different aspects of HIE.
Since the FSI Academy’s creation, the capacity of the team has been significantly increased in a relatively short space of time, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants.
FSI Academy participant Leart Derguti said the following about his experience of the programme,
“The academy as a whole has been a very positive experience for me. It was a massive help in preparing me for my role and the tasks that I will be carrying out, the training was detailed and very involving which meant no one would be left out.
“Nothing can prepare you 100% for the work that we will be doing, but the academy was set up in such a way that very strong foundations were set and with time and experience, I see myself being a very valuable and integral part of my team.”
FSI Academy participant
Upon completion, associates are ready to be assigned to client projects, in both shadowing roles and by carrying out productive activities. Therefore, the amount of time needed to be productive for a recent graduate has been reduced from the typical one year to just six months.
As a first for several of the training courses delivered as part of the FSI Academy, associates from other regions around the world are able to attend and learn, shining the spotlight on the work the UK is doing to be innovative and forward-thinking.
For more information about Oracle Cerner job opportunities and information about taking part in the FSI Academy, please visit at our careers page and get in touch.