The Need for Services – Unlocking the Full Potential of Your Software

Posted on behalf of Jeffrey Ford, Director, Client Services at Summit Healthcare
Purchasing software for your Healthcare IT system is a big investment in several ways.  Lots of time is put into the decision process.  It’s an arduous undertaking, first finding the use case for the software, then reaching out to possible vendors, scheduling and sitting on demos and holding internal meetings along the way.  Once the decision is made, you incur a different kind of cost:  Money.  Software isn’t cheap, but you have a need and you’ve purchased this to be your solution.  But are you getting the full value out of your purchase?
When you purchase software, whether through Summit or another vendor, there are typically two paths for implementation:

  • The first is to take the software delivery, have one or more hospital resources trained on it, and craft and support the solution on your own. This gives you the advantage of fully controlling the direction and timing of the project, but also means it’s entirely on your resources to get the most value of your software.
  • The second option is to wrap services around your software purchase. This takes the implementation off your plate and allows you to work with product experts to reach your desired solution in the shortest amount of time.  As the Director of Client Services at Summit Healthcare I’m a bit biased, but I’d like to outline why I think option 2, supporting your software purchase with services, is the way to go!

If you choose to take on the services yourself, your end users will be adequately trained on the software.  However, they can never have the experience, intuition and efficiency of someone who is working with that product day in and day out.  There are tips and tricks that go along with every piece of software, and the engineers are going to know them all.  The solution you’re looking to implement, you and your team will go through it once.  The engineers have done it countless times.
At the time of purchase, this software was fulfilling a need for a red-hot issue.  But now you’ve gone through the contract process.  You’ve waited for project engagement and software delivery.  Is the urgency still there?  Plus the decision makers aren’t typically the ones that will be working with the software.  Has this new solution and use case been communicated down?  In my years on the Services Team with Summit, I’ve seen a number of projects get lost in the shuffle when being handled on the hospital side.  There are a million things going on every day, and a new software project is an easy thing to kick down the road.  When using software services as provided by Summit, this variable is taken off the table.  The Summit team is in charge of moving the project forward and implementing the exact solution laid out tirelessly over the previous months of planning.
Another thing you need to worry about when taking on a software project is staff turnover.  Maybe you’ve purchased a scripting automation tool or a downtime system.  You’ve selected an analyst or two to become experts on that software.  But what happens when they leave your organization or move on to a different position?  You need another resource to start from scratch.  This is not a concern if you utilize services from your software provider.
Utilizing the services of your software providers is often the best way to fully unlock the potential of your purchase.  It leads to efficient projects with a known timeline.  We have the experts, take advantage of it!