Healthcare Information Technology Project Implementation Failures

Typical IT implementation process

A typical IT implementation process requires a high level of support from members of senior management. In this case, the organization has to devote sufficient resources, time and staff, to ensure the successful completion of the project. Some of the fundamental activities required in any IT implementation process include organizing the implementation team, identifying the system champion, establishing the project scope and expectations, as well as establishing and instituting the project plan. The implementation team should involve professionals from diverse fields (Øvretveit, Scott, Rundall, Shortell & Brommels, 2007). To set the project scope, senior health professionals should meet with members of the implementation team to agree on how the project meets the overall strategic goals of the organization. Once there is agreement on the goals of the project, the implementation team should come up with a project plan. The plan should include major activities, target dates, major milestones, estimated duration, resources required and available budget, among others. The implementation plan should include staff training, system installation, workflow and process analysis, communications and conversion, among others (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2009).

How the process described in the case study failed to include fundamental activities

While the CEO, Fred Dryer and CIO, Joe Roberts supported the project, other senior executives at Memorial hospital opposed it. The CEO and the CIO pushed for the quick implementation of the project without ensuring the availability of clear a plan to consider the availability of resources, time and staff. In this case, the leaders appointed incompetent members and required them to complete the project within a stringent deadline (Lapointe & Rivard, 2005). Other senior executives frustrated the efforts of Dryer and Roberts, who opted to resign. The resignation of the two left the project without a champion. Moreover, the project did not have a clear project scope and expectations, which complicated the exercise. Besides, the project also failed to incorporate adequate measures on staff training, workflow and process analysis, communications, conversion and system installation (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2009).

Five indicators of project failure that manifest themselves in the case study

One of the indicators of project failure evident in the case study is the resignation of Dryer and Roberts, the two leading champions for CPOE at Memorial. Failure to have a clear budget and goals for the project is another key indicator that the project would fail (Blumenthal, 2011). In addition, the project lacked a risk management team to handle any challenges affecting the project. The constant shift of the launch date was also an indication that the project would fail. Moreover, failure to offer adequate training to end-users was a sure indication that the project would fail. Lastly, the communication problem between Dr. Melvin Sparks, the interim CIO and Sally Martin, the executive project manager, was a clear indication that the project would fail (Kappelman, McKeeman & Zhang, 2007).

How to eliminate or minimize the effect of each indicator described

To minimize the chances of the resignation of key members of the project, the leaders should have clear goals and objectives so that all senior executives may support them. Besides, the organization should allocate sufficient resources to the project. To ensure a clear budget and goals for the project, the organization should employ competent employees in all positions, particularly sensitive ones. Involving competent employees in the implementation team would have helped to manage risks to avert any unforeseen challenges in the project (Øvretveit, Scott, Rundall, Shortell & Brommels, 2007). To avoid the constant shifting of the project date, the plans and objectives of the project should be clear. In addition, the hospital should allocate sufficient resources to the project. The project plan should have incorporated end-user training to ensure the successful implementation of the project. To eliminate communication problems, the organization should hire competent and professional employees in all key positions.


Blumenthal, D. (2011). Implementation of the federal health information technology initiative. New England Journal of Medicine, 365(25), 2426-2431.

Kappelman, L. A., McKeeman, R., & Zhang, L. (2007). Early warning signs of it project failure: The dominant dozen. The EDP Audit, Control, and Security Newsletter, 35(1) 1-10.

Lapointe, L., & Rivard, S. (2005). A multilevel model of resistance to information technology implementation. MIS Quarterly, 29(3), 461-491.

Øvretveit, J., Scott, T., Rundall, T. G., Shortell, S. M. & Brommels, M. (2007). Improving quality through effective implementation of information technology in healthcare. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 19(5), 259-266.

Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2009). Health care information systems: A practical approach for health care management. San Francisco CA: John Wiley & Sons.

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