A recent Epic go-live client is making the news this month for releasing some 65 full time employees and 40+ consultants just a few weeks after their go-live. I’m always surprised when I start receiving calls from consultants upset that their contract was ended 2 to 3 weeks early after go-live. Clients don’t know the end results of an implementation when signing contracts. To be on the safe side, contracts are typically signed up to 30 days after go-live for pretty much every role. However, with the continued success of Epic’s implementation approach, an increase in early releases continues to be a trend. Ticket volume is down, issue resolution is quick and efficient, and ongoing support reduces day to day after go-live. So what should you do if you are coming close to a go-live? There are a ton of proactive professional approaches and considerations to look at.
Let’s first take the application you are supporting into consideration when looking at realistic end dates. Patient access modules go-live early, so expect those contracts to end sooner vs revenue cycle modules, that are usually impacted a couple weeks after go-live, therefore expect to stay longer. Technical support resources are typically kept on for a longer duration as well. Clinical applications would vary based on internal support, clinician collaboration and adoption, as well as completion of physician personalization set up. Communicate with your application lead and project manager to set realistic expectations for end dates. Don’t wait until after go-live to have this discussion. The most successful consultants “own” their engagement and are not dependent on their firm to determine their fate.
Implementation support roles can also vary for end dates. At-the-elbow support resources are typically wrapping up 5-6 days post go-live. Clients may contract for up to 3-4 weeks for these types of resources, but a successful implementation translates very quickly into a reduced number of floor support needs. Trainers may be asked to stay on a bit longer as classes may still need to be held, personalization labs and eLearning support needs are ongoing, and a transition plan for continued application training may still be in development.
I find Project Managers and application analysts are the least impacted by early releases. These roles again are typically held onto the first month of go-live. Extensions are considered based on outstanding issues, identified priority enhancements, potential quick upgrade turn around, and several other areas. However, like the client who laid off several employees…these roles could be let go early as well. Let’s face it, it comes down to the almighty dollar. Budgets could be depleted, long term staffing needs pre-determined, and overhead leadership roles combined.
Credentialed trainers may be wrapped under the ATE resource time frame but could be asked to remain. I know several still at a client in Maine that have been extended well past their go-live and I’m seeing this trend. Clients may not have an extended training resource plan in place. I know of another client using Epic resources as PTs, so what is the coverage plan post go-live for those modules? CTs should absolutely work with their client to make sure they do have a coverage plan, and if not…offer to stay on. My favorite story was a CT that remained at a client of mine in Florida for 6 years! I wouldn’t count on it, but it happens.
Whether you’re an analyst, trainer, project manager, or go-live support…end dates can change. Be flexible and offer assistance where ever needed to ensure the longest duration of a contract is offered. As a full time employee, your experience is extremely valuable. Being laid off may just open a new door of opportunities for you.
Thank you for the post, Doug. This is a very informative and well-written article. Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely Doug, as consultant flexibility is key.
Thanks Doug and I miss working with you – great information and very true – consultations need to always be flexible and helpful and read between the lines. Start taking the pulse of the implementation and your application/area at least 90 days out – plan ahead.