System EMR and ERP will better support patients, workforce

In late 2021, we first introduced you to the Care One initiative as our vision to further unify the Albany Med Health System and elevate the care that we provide to our communities. Over the last year, that vision has begun to take shape.

“At its core, Care One is about creating a solid, secure, efficient foundation for the Albany Med Health System—one that will strengthen our ability to provide care, to educate, and to forge new paths forward as a single organization,” said President and CEO Dennis P. McKenna, MD ’92. “This project is an incredible collaborative effort driven by our own workforce to better support the work that we do and people we serve.”

While work had long been going on behind the scenes, we first kicked off our efforts to build an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) process in March. Using the Workday platform, the ERP project will lead to integrated business processes Systemwide. This includes standardizing practices such as billing and invoice processes, grant reporting, contract naming conventions, and supply ordering and creating a single travel and expense policy. We will be adding two new Workday applications: one for finance operations (FINS) and one for supply chain operations (SCM).

The ERP team is currently wrapping up the architect and configuration phase of the project with unit testing. This has allowed our teams to identify and resolve any issues with data conversion or individual business processes and validate our build of the Workday system to ensure it matches the design decisions we have made. At the beginning of 2023, the ERP team will begin end-to-end testing and preparations for go-live in July.

Project leads are also beginning to determine training needs for staff whose positions will require them to use Workday, such as those who order supplies or utilize and prepare financial reports. Comprehensive training materials will be developed to ensure that our staff is prepared for the new Workday platform. We will soon begin enlisting the help of colleagues from across the System to serve as change champions to help drive engagement for the ERP project pre- and post-go-live.

Work on our Systemwide electronic medical record (EMR) has also taken significant steps forward. The project, which will align clinical operations using Epic, moved into the build phase at the beginning of November. During this phase, clinical and operational staff who have been selected by System leadership to best represent our diverse organization started meeting in workgroups and advisory councils to begin making configuration decisions. At the conclusion of our EMR project, Epic will serve as our main EMR platform, replacing many current outpatient and inpatient EMRs, including MEDENT, MEDITECH, Allscripts, Soarian, and Cerner.

While Epic’s foundation system will form the base of our EMR, we will rely on our own colleagues—those most familiar with the health care needs of our communities—to make the key build decisions. As the project moves forward, we will be requesting input from staff outside of these groups to help inform Epic content.

The build phase for EMR is slated to run through May 2023. Epic will go live in 2024 in two waves—first at Albany Medical Center in March, followed by Columbia Memorial Health, Glens Falls Hospital, and Saratoga Hospital in September. The ERP will go live across each of our hospitals and practice locations in the summer of 2023.