The Habanero Consulting Group, a Vancouver-based consulting services firm, today announced that they have created a solution for the Fraser Health Authority that will slash the time and cost of their information management project approval process. This solution will allow the FHA to effectively manage its portfolio of capital projects, ensuring that projects are prioritized to provide the greatest benefit with a goal to improve healthcare.
The Fraser Health Authority (FHA) was created in 2001 through the merger of three healthcare organizations. With three times as many IT departments and managers, the development of clear project initiation processes for information management projects became critical. The Habanero Consulting Group has developed a Microsoft Office System information management project proposal solution using Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 electronic forms and a proposal management Windows SharePoint Services site to administer each new proposal. The solution will significantly reduce the work required to initiate, approve, and implement new projects — a reduction of almost 15 hours per project. FHA expects an internal rate of return of 53 percent and a project payback of 16 months.
"Using InfoPath will help to reduce the time required to initiate a project by more than 50 percent and eliminate the need to hire more managers to support projects", said James Orobko, Director, Information Systems, Fraser Health Authority.
This solution is one of only four chosen by Microsoft to be demonstrated during the keynote address given by Bill Gates at the Microsoft world-wide launch of Microsoft Office System being held today in New York, NY.
The creation of six healthcare authorities through consolidating approximately 50 regional healthcare boards has created challenges for FHA and its counterparts across British Columbia. One major challenge is surmounting the complexities of getting small, disparate organizations to work together as a cohesive whole. On a fundamental level, this involves facilitating a change in business processes from those that worked well in a small environment to those suited to a much larger organization. The manual process that FHA used to initiate an information management project request and secure its approval is a case in point.
A paper-based project initiation system that might have worked well in a smaller organization was inefficient in the context of the larger healthcare authority. Routing paper documents through 15 or 20 inboxes invited delays and miscommunications.
Because of the excessive amount of work necessary to process proposals, the pipeline of project proposals was restricted to about 70 per year by the IS department. IS requested that directors approve only proposals of immediate and great need until the Project Management Office could staff more people or provide a more robust technology solution that could help manage project proposals more efficiently.
The solution turns a manual, time-consuming, and paper-based process into a standardized series of steps that make it easy for everyone to follow the capital request and approval process from start to finish.
"We are keenly aware of the challenges that health care organizations face", says Corinne Schollie, Health Care Practice Leader at the Habanero Consulting Group. "We are delighted that this solution is going to have a significant impact for the Fraser Health Authority".