IT Project Implementations Failures Joseph Garcia HCS/483 7/4/2011 Eric Rios IT Project Implementations Failures There are many factors that play into failures of implementing an IT project. As in the Case Study – Memorial Health System CPOE Implementation there were clearly barriers set in place that affected leadership and staff. The purpose of this paper is to examine CPOE implementation barriers within the Memorial Health System and to determine possible methods to overcoming these challenges. Any project or initiative is destined for trouble if its objectives and purpose are unclear.

One of the many barriers present was the lack of vision shared within the organization between the physicians and management. They worried their workload would increase because CPOE systems replace verbal orders with computer-entered orders by doctors. Dr. Mark Allen, a primary care physician commented, “The hospital is trying to turn me into a $12-an-hour secretary and they aren’t even paying me $12 an hour. ” (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2009) The desire to obtain a shared vision as a whole should have resulted in a presentation of what the purpose of the CPOE initiative was intended to achieve.

As was the result when some of the doctors that had not left the system attended the CPOE vendor’s annual user group meeting. They saw the release of the vendor’s most recent system and immediately decided they wanted it for Memorial. Another concern with the project was the leadership put in place by the board after the two leading champions for CPOE—Dryer and Roberts—left Memorial. Projects that are viewed as illegitimate by a large portion of the people in an organization rarely succeed (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2009). Even though Barbara Lu was a vocal opponent of the project, many members of the board still supported it.

In addition, none of the board members wanted to lose a very substantial down payment to the vendor, so Lu was instructed to proceed with the implementation of the CPOE system. The focus was clearly shifted from implementing a CPOE system to not losing a substantial amount of money. The focus should have been on finding a leader who believed in the vision that was originally presented by Dryer and Roberts. The project clearly lacked leadership which was present in the initial meeting between Martin and Sparks. Successful CPOE implementation also requires a supportive culture (Tran-tan, 2011).

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Sparks did not seem to have time for the project which he shifted the workload onto Martin and the ability to collaborate did not exist after that meeting. Tough project decisions may get made in a way that shows the leaders are not as serious as their rhetoric, because when push came to shove, they caved in (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2009). There should have been an outlet that would have allowed Martin the ability to defend her analysis such as access to Barbara Lu. The beginning of the end was in place as the negative experience created a total shutdown in communication between upper management and the project leader.

As a result, any trust established early on has eroded and the complexity of the implementation just got more complex. Without communication the project was operating in the dark as other team members were unaware of the issues. Creating and managing conflict from within is a challenge but also a necessity to defend one’s own ideas or suggestions which in return can help clarify any misunderstandings and establish trust. Along with a breakdown in communication was the aggressive timeline that the project was to adhere to.

The confidence to get this project done didn’t compensate for any short-term issues as in the case of obtaining new software. The project became too costly and the need to move money around created budget cuts to crucial areas such as test the software, configure the software and interfaces, and train the users which was to be done in 2 months. The lack of end-user training was apparent, and the many requirements missed during the analysis became immediately obvious. Doctors could not log on to the system, and nurses could no longer enter orders. Patients were waiting for medications and tests.

As a result the CPOE initiative was a failure. It is important to create a supportive culture that allows access to those who are in place to make important decisions. The project was too big to implement in the time frame presented which allowed for even the minor mistakes to be costly. The initiative should have started with one of the eight hospitals which could have been the blue print to implementing a successful CPOE system in the remaining seven hospitals. It makes no sense in having someone in charge of implementing an IT system that they do not believe In, themselves.

This clearly takes away the motivation factor from leadership as well as the shared vision aspect of the initiative. References Tran-Tan, N. (2011). CPOE Implementation Barriers in Healthcare Organizations. Business Advantage Services, INC. Retrieved from http://bas-consulting. net/consulting2/? p=15 Wager, K. A. , Lee, F. W. , & Glaser, J. P. (2009). Health care information systems: A practical approach for health care management (2nd ed. ). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


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