In my previous post regarding MPI consolidation, we observed how a conversion/upgrade effort, though an intensive undertaking, presents many opportunities to improve our organization and workflow. One of these opportunities is how we can improve our data governance, specifically the process of evaluating and planning our reporting needs. This is most apparent during a platform change, and that will be the use case I’ll be focusing on, but the same considerations can be applied whether we are in the process of upgrading our HCIS or during the maintenance cycle.

Reporting is central to our day-to-day operations and long-term planning, and over time we accrue hundreds of essential reports, distributed throughout our HCIS and depended on by our multi-disciplined user base. When planning for an upgrade, many of these reports will need to be rewritten in light of enhanced functionality and changes present in the new system. In 2018, our development partner Halifax Health completed their upgrade from MEDITECH Client Server to MEDITECH Expanse. Planning for this upgrade, Halifax needed a way to evaluate the full scope of their accumulated reports and effectively determine the best way to consume the report governance elephant.

We begin by answering a series of questions, based on our particular upgrade effort. Such as: Exactly how many reports do we currently have? How can this number be reduced? Out of these reports, we want to determine relevance, and if relevant, then priority and upgrade requirements. What type of report is it, i.e. NPR Report Writer or Data Repository? Is the application the report references changing platforms (NPR to M-AT)? Does the latest MEDITECH version provide standard functionality that makes the report obsolete? Once these questions have been answered, we can begin to delegate the individual reports to internal or external resources that will be responsible for rebuilding and testing the reports in the new MEDITECH platform.

DefinITy is our report tracking and governance solution that was born out of Halifax Health’s planning and analysis effort. DefinITy facilitates the upgrade process by providing a means to easily track and manage the steps from report discovery and analysis through testing and finalizing the new report version. Existing report metadata and usage criteria are loaded into the DefinITy database, and then assigned an owner, i.e. the user responsible for determining the relevance of the report. Report owners can then manage their list of reports, by canceling reports no longer needed, or confirming the request for an upgrade of the report, adding any additional details or requirements. Requested reports are then assigned to a resource for tracking the completion of the new version of the report.

Sound planning and consideration ensure that we make the most of the opportunities presented to us during an upgrade effort. Using a tool to manage and track the report update process in phases, allows us to focus on the upgrade as a whole while delegating out the details to the correct resources. To assist sites with this process, The HCI Solution offers a complementary report analysis, providing a high-level overview of a site’s current reporting footprint and usage, and highlighting those reports that will be impacted by platform upgrades. We also offer a full suite of Data Services, in the event that you are looking for external resources to assist with your reporting needs, regardless of your MEDITECH version.

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