September 4, 2020

Go Retro, Bring the Workflow Walkthrough Back to Your Epic Implementation!

Rebecca Haymaker

Those of us who have worked with Epic since the early years remember many iterations of the Epic implementation methodology.

I still remember the early Design/Build/Validate sessions where we brought up the system build guides and literally walked our clients through every system setting and option possible.

Over time the foundation system was born and implementation methodology evolved. While there have been many significant and positive improvements, there is one forgotten milestone I believe is the key to a successful install. That milestone is the Workflow Walkthrough. It is not the current workflow walkthroughs where foundation system is demonstrated and playbook decisions discussed, but rather, a step between the design/build phase and application testing. Consider it a critical phase gate before moving on to the testing phase of the project.

For those not familiar with this critical project step, here are the basics around how it worked. Analysts were partnered with operational owners to prepare an end-to-end demonstration of key future state workflows. The analysts typically drove the demonstration while the operational owner explained the workflow and how they system would help them do their work in the future. It was a lot of work, but here is why it was so successful:

  • Workflow Refinement – the workflows became the basis for future phase test scripts and training materials. The end-to-end workflows identified gaps, questions, and build issues that would have been caught much later in the process. They reflected the nuances of the organization’s workflows – not just the foundation system.
  • Knowledge Transfer – it required a knowledge transfer from the Epic implementers to the client analysts – demoing in front of a crowd is a scary thing and requires a lot of practice! Build validation occurred before the official testing phase, leading to a smoother transition.
  • Operational Ownership – it forced the operational owners into the system earlier in the project, allowing them to better understand the system and how their operations would change.

If you are currently mid-implementation or planning for a future implementation; consider building time for this critical milestone into your project plan. The time invested early in the project will pay dividends in the end!

At The Wilshire Group we have tenured Epic revenue cycle strategic advisors averaging 17 years of healthcare experience and 12 years of Epic experience. Collectively we have been involved in hundreds of system implementations and know what works and what does not. We can help you maximize the best of Epic implementation methodology, while also filling in the gaps.  If you need a strategic partner and advisor for your revenue cycle implementation, please contact me at to learn more about our Strategic Advisory Services.

Rebecca Haymaker

Vice President, Revenue Cycle Services

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