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Maintaining System Reliability Through Planning and Testing
Hennepin County Medical Center

Maintaining System Reliability Through Planning and Testing

Hennepin Healthcare maintains system reliability by establishing monthly well-planned downtime for maintenance and updates and by minimizing unplanned downtime through testing procedures.

Created in partnership with Hennepin County Medical Center

Publish Date: 07/31/2023

Cost to Implement:  $$ - Budgeted Cost

Time to Implement:  0 - 6 Months

Program Goals

  • Minimize planned and unplanned system downtime

Organization Outcomes

  • Providers are 96th percentile for agreement that EHR is reliable
  • Providers are 93rd percentile for agreement that EHR has fast system response time

Collaborative-Verified Best Practices

  • System Reliability and Response Time

Keys to Success

  • Establish monthly and quarterly scheduled downtime to keep abreast of system maintenance and EHR updates as well as prevent outages.
  • Keep scheduled downtime as short as possible through extensive planning, testing, and preparation.
  • Conduct root-cause analysis for unplanned downtime and help prevent problems from recurring.
  • Work with executive leadership to prioritize investing in technology.

What Hennepin Healthcare Did

Hennepin Healthcare (Hennepin) maintains system stability using a monthly scheduled downtime window for routine system maintenance and updates. They conduct major system updates quarterly and are transitioning to a biannual maintenance schedule. To keep the downtime window short, the team focuses on preparation and proactive work effort and completing tasks such as updates and patches within the specified time. Unplanned downtime is infrequent and mostly related to network outages. The team has implemented testing procedures to mitigate unplanned downtime, including reviewing release notes, creating testing scripts, and reporting issues to the EMR vendor. These measures minimize the impact of issues during planned or unplanned downtime.

How Hennepin Healthcare Did It

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These perspectives are shared to facilitate better collaboration and communication between members of the Arch Collaborative. We encourage organizations to thoughtfully adjust their current operations based on their own experience, the findings of this research, and other complementary sources of information.

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