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A strategic technology plan helps a critical access hospital stay technologically viable

Challenge

A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) with multiple practices across five locations was challenged with aging technology and an evolving model of care. There was uncertainty regarding the hospital’s independence as it considered affiliation with a larger health system in addition to its participation with an evolving accountable care organization (ACO). The hospital’s leadership team knew they would need to make decisions on new enterprise software, infrastructure, security defenses, and analytics capabilities. They understood that technology choices needed to align with multiple competing and sometimes conflicting priorities to form a comprehensive enterprise strategy.

Approach

BerryDunn’s team of objective healthcare advisors worked with the hospital to:

  • Understand current technology strengths and challenges with input from a representative group of clinicians, leadership, board, fiscal services, and operations
  • Conduct work sessions to inform technology planning in light of potential affiliation, evolving ACO demands, and challenges retaining market share
  • Identify clear steps to improve and support critical software systems
  • Collaborate with senior leadership and the board on a strategy to address short term needs and consider long term variables.
  • Develop a strategic technology plan that is easily understood by everyone in the organization, supports overall strategic goals, and is executable by the IT team

Outcomes

By identifying and prioritizing needs early on, the hospital was able to determine which technology projects were actionable at present and which activities should be addressed later on. They were able to establish a plan and timeline for implementation of critical projects, putting them on a path for reliable infrastructure, improved software, increased analytics, and thoughtful technology investment. The planning process helped the hospital delineate their technology investment and support needs, which also informed their considerations for affiliation.

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