What are the implications of deciding to make a change?
If the assessment points to a change in systems, there are a number of issues to consider. How could we “go”? With our existing vendor, we know what we have and what we’ve learned to live with—with a new one, we must re-examine those choices and consider technology, areas of automation and new compromises. We should narrow the field progressively and dig in to evaluate in detail. By the time we commit to a multi-decade relationship with a vendor, we should know them at least as well as we know our old one.
When an organization makes that choice, it should be ready to take the plunge the whole way. It can be tempting to “try a module” or “try one clinic.” But the “halfway” state is dangerous. Economies of scale are impossible to achieve on fragmented platforms. Updates, maintenance, clinical progress and defect correction all become far more complex with a bloated IT portfolio. In a well-planned implementation, this is the most expensive and dangerous time. In a stalled implementation or a “perpetual pilot,” it’s just a mess.