The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust was looking to carry out EPIC implementation across relevant systems. This implementation would improve services and develop system infrastructure, leaving the Trust in a stronger position for the future.
IT Works Health was engaged to provide a search, select, recruit and deployment service. Initial planning and Trust requirements required roles to be delivered on-site. However, due to Covid restrictions and lockdown, we provided resources for off-site working where appropriate.
A key issue for both ourselves and the client was the shortage of EPIC resources in the UK.
We assigned a designated Account Team with a named Account Manager to the Trust. From the start of the agreement, we held discovery meetings with key Trust stakeholders. We wanted to understand the details of their planned implementation. This would allow us to design the most effective approach. Developing a close working relationship gave us the insight to meet the Trust’s needs.
Our Account Manager implemented clarification meetings for each individual requirement. We were looking to fully understand the role, responsibilities, and team fit in each case. This allowed us to ensure we provided the most appropriate resource in each case.
We supplied the following roles:
Interface Analyst (Bridge)
Application Analyst (Beaker)
Principal Trainer (Orders)
EPIC Trainer (Clindocs)
EPIC Trainer (EPMA)
GO-Live support Floorwalking
Go-Live Desktop Support
Our integrated market presence in the UK EPR industry was pivotal in our success. We’ve developed a strong network over our 15-year presence working with experts for systems including Lorenzo, Cerner, IMS Maxims and Allscripts. Across all modules, we were able to fill 95% of all roles we were asked to resource.
The efforts of five specialist consultants with networks in contract, temporary, and permanent roles within the NHS and private healthcare sectors were pivotal. As well as this market intelligence we benefited from a continually updated CRM containing the best contractors and permanent workers in the EPIC and EPR fields.
We worked all requirements through a four-stage recruitment process.
After fully qualifying each position with the Trust, we searched and matched prequalified consultants in our network and real-time CRM records.
Each candidate was qualified against the Trust’s requirements for:
We carried out qualification and referencing checks for each candidate before submission.
In this case our pro-active search techniques and known candidate network provided sufficient high-quality human resources. Where this is not the case we use a wide variety of online advertising opportunities and CV databases to extend candidate reach.
We were able to provide the Trust with pre-qualified options for interview selection. The IT Works Health recommended candidates boasted a broad range of experience and skillsets. The Trust could therefore select from as wide a selection of the market as needed.
We conducted full interview preparation and post analysis. With all charge rates and contractual agreements in place pre-interview we could make the process of offer to acceptance smooth and efficient.
With offers accepted and onboarding protocols complete, each hired candidate was supplied with start dates and any further details needed to support them and the Trust.
Across all fulfilled positions, an average 72 hour turnaround saw completion from requirement gathering to interview and deployment,
Risks, Challenges and Obstacles
Meeting an Urgent Requirement
An immediate priority was the immediate requirement of two experienced EPIC trainers. Both needed implementation training experience in the NHS setting.
Our Account Team met this challenge by approaching known candidates in our network. We knew these candidates were immediately available. We’d previously placed these candidates in other contract engagements. We therefore had excellent references and feedback regarding their abilities.
The two successful consultants had previously delivered Pre-Go-Live training support for UCLH. They interviewed the day after we received the requirement and started within three working days.
Fulfilling a Challenging Role - 1
The Trust’s need for an Orders Principal Trainer provided us with a particular challenge.
Certified candidates were not available within the specific timeframe. We were, however, able to provide options.
We discussed risk and want with the Trust’s hiring manager. Following this discussion we proposed a quality EPIC trainer to undergo Orders certification through the Trust. Having secured approval, we moved forward. This Principal Trainer would become the longest-serving interim trainer for the implementation.
Based on our knowledge of the candidate we had been confident they would prove successful, and their tenure confirmed this.
Fulfilling a Challenging Role - 2
Another challenge for the Trust involved their requirement for an Interface Bridge Analyst. This requirement would place this Analyst with the MYCARE Program Team. They’d be designing, developing, testing, implementing, and supporting the interface between EPIC and some 132 other applications, clinical and non-clinical.
With a shallow talent pool in this field, the geographical position of the Trust and their requirement that this role be onsite, there were only two or three potential candidates for this position.
Our EPIC network was the key. With years of ongoing relationship building and candidate qualification and re-qualification, we were able to find a certified Bridge analyst with NHS experience. They had just completed delivery of a similar role with UCLH.
In accordance with the Trust’s Management Information requirements, we provided monthly data throughout the 28 month project.
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