1. Create task checklists
HIT staff should create weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual task lists outlining what needs to be done and then making sure that they are scheduled into the regular workload. Also, establish a checklist for day-to-day security tasks that should be carried out to protect the integrity of your system.
2. Assign responsibilities
HIT leaders should establish a feedback loop to ensure tasks have been identified are being performed. This can be in the form of reports to executives or regular review meetings, which can be scheduled quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the level of change going on in the organization. Another effective way to ensure ongoing task accountability is to set up a regular schedule of standing meetings.
3. Upgrade promptly
These upgrades can improve the stability of the application, or enhance functionality to increase efficiency. Even more importantly, they can protect you from possible security breaches. Often, hackers search for outdated software looking for security issues that haven’t been fixed with patches. To ensure proper maintenance of an organization’s systems, establish a process to install upgrades and patches within a certain, specified period following receipt.
4. Keep documentation current
A documentation plan should include a master user’s guide that includes checklists and all standard operating procedures that have been established. These should be laid out in a step-by-step format with screen shots to illustrate exactly what needs to be done. User guides and other documentation should be reviewed regularly for updates and changes.
Documentation should include any design decisions that have been made, long-term plans and a change control policy that ensures that all changes are tracked and communicated properly.
5. Conduct ongoing training
Organizations should consider implementing a comprehensive training program for new hires and refresher sessions for existing staff to ensure that everyone uses the same processes and procedures.
6. Communicate regularly
Also, organizations should communicate aggressively when it comes to process, procedure and form changes. When in electronic format, include a link that users can click on to learn more about the change, why it was made and how to fill out the new form. Proactively getting out front eliminates confusion and concern surrounding these changes.
7. Get Help
An experienced partner can bring a vast wealth of industry experience from their other engagements and can simplify the process of system management. They can help with all elements of a comprehensive program including assessment, plan development, system monitoring, staff training and ongoing audits.