by Erin White

Challenge

For a large healthcare provider that had operated seven regions autonomously, making the strategic move to a single, centralized organization was a major opportunity to reduce costs and gain efficiencies. In Information Services (IS) alone, plans to centralize the organization and applications would save millions of dollars annually. The need to make an enterprise-wide transition to a single EHR platform added a sense of urgency to consolidating the seven regional application portfolios. Our client engaged Point B’s Project Leadership Services to develop and implement a strategy that would achieve its IS vision: to “radically simplify” its enterprise application portfolio.

2,400 Reasons to Simplify

Building early understanding and ownership of this IS transition across all seven regions was critical to its success. We began by bringing regional and enterprise leadership together with employee teams to create and govern the plans, tools and processes it would take to develop the new enterprise application portfolio.

We identified the systems and processes to conduct an inventory of all regional applications across all seven regions. We discovered 2,400 applications—many of them redundant or outdated. With a clear picture of the inventory, we created the structure and accountability to identify the significant opportunities and savings of consolidating applications.

Of course, our client’s IS needs weren’t standing still as work progressed. So we designed an intake process and governance structure to enable ongoing regional participation in application investment decisions as enterprise standardization evolved. We also developed a standard sunsetting toolkit and a playbook for the first wave of 300 applications to be replaced by the transition to the new, enterprise-wide EHR system. We identified several archiving strategies to satisfy different levels of information retrieval needs— required to support the 870 data retention policies in place across the regions.

Vision Accomplished

Within six months, our client’s new enterprise-wide application portfolio management saved millions of dollars.

Our client achieved 90 percent of its targeted $5 million budget savings for 2013 by the second quarter, through terminated software contracts that the EHR system replaced. By year end, our client is on target to reach 108 percent of targeted savings. Over the next three years, the EHR transition is expected to save over $16 million due to application sunsetting alone.

Beyond EHR-related savings, our client expects additional IS savings of $7-14 million as a result of other consolidation across regions and service lines. Enterprise-wide application portfolio management gives our client the control to further increase efficiencies and reduce costs—both key to delivering affordable quality healthcare in a competitive marketplace.