Clinical & IT Program Management

Course Overview – Clinical & IT Program Management – The major purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the best practices of implementing electronic medical record (EMR) and other systems in a health care provider setting. The specific challenges around implementing systems in the clinical environment and the benefits that can be achieved by use of these technologies will also be examined, as well as specifics of the implementation process.  Issues related to implementing clinical systems in health care organizations will be discussed, and how they can be mitigated and solved. By the end of this course, students should have an excellent understanding of strategies and best practices around systems planning, implementations, and benefits realization.

Delivery Method & Length of Course – Fully Online instruction using a combination of assigned readings, online interaction with other students, and short essays.  There one small, fun project.  Each assigned area will be in one week increments for a total of seven weeks duration.  This course will intentionally feel a little more “hands on” than the other sections of the program.

Materials Required:  Hacking Healthcare: A Guide to Standards, Workflows, and Meaningful Use, by Fred Trotter. The Trotter book is a concise overview of many of the historical and technical concepts you will need to talk with vendors intelligently.   There will be readings and online resources. We will heavily use the reference material from the Office of the National Coordinator Playbook (

Prerequisites – Foundations in Healthcare Management

Course Details: 

Week 1: 

  • Course Introduction
  • Assess Practice Readiness

The first step in implementation is to conduct an assessment of the current practice and its goals, needs, and financial and technical readiness. Functions of a typical practice and general system architectures will be reviewed.

Week 2:

  • Planning

Planning draws on the information gathered during the assessment phase, to outline the practice’s system implementation plan, with a focus on change management and governance.

Week 3:

  • Select or Upgrade a System

There are a number of steps involved in choosing the right system for a practice including selecting possible vendors, conducting an RFP, and negotiating a contract.  Required features and sample RFPs will be shared.

Week 4:

  • Conduct Training & Implement a the System

Implementation involves the installation of the system and associated activities, such as training, mock “go-live,” and pilot testing.  Included in this topic is testing, conversion and ongoing support requirements of a typical system.

Week 5

  • Measure Results (Meaningful Use)
  • Measures and Quality Improvement
  • Using Systems for Competitive Advantage

The final phase of implementation includes successfully attesting to demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs, and reassessing and making changes based on learning from training and everyday use of the system.  Ongoing use of the system, upgrades, adding new features and using measures will be discussed.

Week 6

  • Case Studies – Successes and Failures

We will share and study implementation examples.

Week 7

  • Try it & Present Findings

Each student will download and demo a free open source EMR and share their experience in an online webinar.

Optional: Students can visit a practice and interview staff about their experiences using an EMR today.