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Methodist Health

Methodist Health System has seamless conversion using Cerner’s Upgrade Center

IT analysts throughout Methodist Health System say their recent seamless software conversion was a direct result of using Cerner’s Upgrade Center.

The hospital system completed its latest conversion in June 2015, and by utilizing Upgrade Center resources, the Omaha-based organization successfully made the transition faster and with fewer errors.

“Before switching to the Upgrade Center, the IT analysts were responsible for testing pretty much everything,” said Systems Analyst Paula Grupe. “It was difficult because we didn’t know all of the workflows.”

Methodist Health System’s 137-person IT staff was forced to put their day-to-day projects on a two-month hold and spend most of their time testing.

“We were learning and trying to figure out the appropriate phases and trying to escalate those issues ourselves,” said Director of Systems Development Susan Clauser.

Using the Upgrade Center allowed Methodist Health System to shift a large portion of the solution testing and coding to Cerner associates.  These trained analysts brought solution-specific knowledge to the table and made for a higher quality conversion.

“Although our analysts were still very involved with the upgrade, the Upgrade Center provided our staff the additional support needed so they could continue to concentrate on other strategic initiatives that were prioritized by our Health System” said Dr. Steven Zuber, CIO.

Without the Upgrade Center, solution conversions took an average of 84 days, but Methodist Health System finished in 68 days. It was not only shorter but also had fewer glitches. In fact the number of defects per solution dropped 75 percent in nine months.

In addition to upgrading to the latest code, the Methodist team implemented 20 Prevent & Advance Services.  These supplemental services can improve system performance by conducting solution-specific audits that pinpoint opportunities for improvement.  For example, Methodist added Auto-Close Pregnancy Ops Jobs in PowerChart Maternity.  If nurses forget to close a patient’s chart, the system will automatically close the chart after a certain number of weeks.