Care One: System ERP Project Kicks Off

If you walk through Albany Med Health System hospitals, you can see work being done that aims to increase the level of care for patients in our region.

Behind the scenes, a multi-year project is in motion which may not be as visible to the untrained eye, but which also will have long-lasting positive impacts on the level of patient care.

The Albany Med Health System – the region’s only regionally governed health system – is embarking on a project known as Care One. The result will be the creation of one unified electronic medical record, or EMR, and one enterprise resource planning process, or ERP.

This project will have transformative impacts on operations at Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Health (CMH), Glens Falls Hospital, Saratoga Hospital, physician practices, and Visiting Nurses Association of Albany – impacts that are critical to the System’s role as the leader in care across our community. Care One’s vision is to enhance patient care and community-centered services across the region, elevate the experience of dedicated and talented employees across the System, and the creation of an integrated clinical and business platform.

The ERP project officially kicked off on March 1 within System hospitals, with the first steps of introducing key elements of the project to teams that will play integral roles in its development. That includes guiding principles established by System leadership that are in line with the vision of the project and the long-standing successes and culture of each hospital. These principles will drive everything from discussions to implementation of the ERP.

At the core of these principles is an understanding that System employees will play direct roles in contributing to the success of the project.

“There is no doubt – we must focus on and prioritize this project in order to achieve our goal of elevating care in our region,” said Fran Spreer Albert, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Albany Med. “Our successes will emerge from our guiding principles for Care One and by ensuring that we communicate the importance of these principles and their significance in our ERP decision-making process.”

The development of the ERP platform across the Albany Med Health System will occur:

  • With a focus on usability through the lens of both patients and System employees;
  • By ensuring effective decision-making using best practices;
  • By standardizing operations in a way that does not eliminate the culture of success at each hospital;
  • Through financially-prudent and timely decisions that follow pre-determined timelines; and
  • Through frequent communication through internal and external channels about the work being done.

The ERP will operate through the Workday platform and will give employees a single source of truth for business practices. This will help to ensure that resources are being dedicated where they are most needed and can make the most impact. Operations connected to finance and supply chain management work are two main examples of how integration through a unified ERP can streamline workflows and allow for nonclinical teams to work together. The result will be expanded access for patients as resources are dedicated in a more efficient way.

To ensure the most positive outcome for the Care One project, team leads are committing to the ERP and EMR as the single programs used for their respective purposes System-wide. By committing to this priority, project leaders are hoping to maximize functionality and workflows of each, all for the end goal of improved experiences for patients and employees. Collaboration will occur across operations, clinical areas and information technology to cover all bases and to carry the project from vision to reality.

The vision is a program that is operational in 2023 and which will play a significant role in how information is entered, received and used.

“Ensuring standardized data across the Albany Med Health System will be a key component to the usability of this platform,” said Kris Kusche, Albany Med Health System Chief Information Officer. “Doing so will elevate the level of accurate data and analytics available to our teams and accelerate the timelines by which they receive that information.”

Albany Med Center for Excellence Vice President Kim Williams will serve as the Care One: ERP program executive. A steering committee has been established with members from across the System’s hospitals. Shelly Breton, Vice President for Revenue Cycle Services, and Mitch Amado, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Glens Falls Hospital, will co-lead our Access and Revenue Cycle Advisory Council. Flavius Toader, System Vice President for Supply Chain, will be the Supply Chain Advisory Council chair. The advisory councils will review and approve design decisions, resolve issues escalated by workgroups, define training and readiness needs and move plans forward.

A Care One: EMR steering committee is planning next steps for our Epic implementation.

Stay tuned for future updates!