Competitive Advantage and Organizational Blinders

One of the most common flaws in organizational efficiency failures is the reliance on root cause low level determination to excuse failures. All failures are management failures. No error should propagate beyond the first level of management control, or the management is the problem. All penalties for failures need to be addressed primarily at the management level or failures will accumulate. Line employees and systems are not the root cause of failure, the management thereof is. An organization that permits management to persist through multiple failures is undermining its own potential. Failure to observe this fundamental truth of systems management means the real cause of systems failures persists and the efficiency of the organization suffers. This does not mean terminating the problem level of management, it means rehabilitating them or increasing their capacity. And, importantly, the failure of the level above to perceive the weakness ahead of time is itself and additional level of the failure in management. This responsibility rolls all the way up to the board in some cases. If your organization is blaming line personnel or vendors for failures, you may want to consider some external management consulting to examine the situation in detail using an independent set of eyes. Or the competition will eventually eat your business.

Complacency Has No Place in Business

As Mercedes has so aptly demonstrated of late, complacency has no place in business and as any business major can recite, is anathema to competitive advantage.

Racing competition mirrors business competition in that way, and all competition opportunities, for that matter. If you want to survive long term you have no choice but to compete at some level.

There are, as Agent Smith said in The Matrix, levels of survival many are willing to accept.

But businesses that become complacent quickly stagnate and in an environment with limited competition (typically due to regulation and licensing requirements) fester and rot, slowly turning into dinosaurs that impede progress.

Businesses that become complacent in a normal competitive environment quickly get eaten by better businesses. This is why big, older, established companies like Microsoft buy up small innovative firms in a story as old as acquisitions and mergers. Consuming the threat to gain their power.

We must shun complacency and emphasize competition if we are to advance smartly into the future. The alternative is a slow decay into something that can be consumed by a better predator. A business with no aggressive plan for the future is waving a white flag and an easy target. The only thing that keeps a company like that afloat is the dearth of available business.

Liticode’s analytical abilities in these areas can help your company stay competitive and exceed expectations. Our systems engineers are here to help move your business forward.

Annual Canary Notice

We still have never received any federal notice of any kind regarding disclosing client information or not disclosing client information. Or anything other than normal business and tax documents. We’re kind of boring that way. Which is what makes us such a great company to work with. Boring is good.

Going Green

We are proud to announce a new initiative here at Liticode to help reduce client costs while simultaneously helping to reduce our impact on the environment by drastically reducing travel on engagements.

Engagement travel costs for clients involving flights can be as high as $20,000 just for the travel alone. By deploying technical assets (lightweight computers and storage coupled with cloud resources) we can now be effectively onsite faster, and more reliably, than by putting humans in airplanes.

Furthermore, we will improve response times quality by reducing missed dates. Currently, we miss about 1 engagement annually by as much as 2 days due to travel delays, mainly in winter. Using our new remote capabilities, because of the low costs involved, we can simultaneously ship multiple endpoint units via different carriers and routes, and guarantee onsite presence within any shipping window.

For engagements requiring hands on, in clients where no internal technical resource can be used, we will be engaging with partners in the immediate vicinity to be our hands, and still achieve a 99% reduction in travel costs.

Only in the most severe classified containment matters will we continue to ship personnel to remote sites, but even in those cases, we will be able to ship fewer personnel, and still reduce travel costs.

We are very pleased with the remote operations capabilities we have implemented and hope to use them for all our remote clients moving forward. It also makes our personnel happier, since they get to spend less time on the road, and can perform faster and more efficiently on client engagements. This in turn improves client outcomes and we here at Liticode want the best for our clients.

Some Advice for Buying an EMR/EHR

Here at Liticodec, we don’t practice medicine, but we do practice technology and electronic records and have been doing so for a very long time. Since well before the current trend of faster/cheaper became fashionable, and because of that, we’ve learned a few tricks about the system acquisition (purchasing) cycle that you might not think about, but can probably benefit from.

Do your purchasing according to tried and true practices of defining criteria and doing vendor selection. An EMR is not a trivial item, it is foundational and will make or break your healthcare practice. Involve the right people. If none of that makes sense, HIRE SOMEONE who understands purchasing principal systems and don’t rely on the advice of someone internally just because you think they know what they’re talking about. You want to make sure EVERYONE is backstopped by a proper value based decision with defined and trusted characteristics.

Defining those characteristics can be part of the problem, along with relying on vendors to be truthful in their descriptions of what their systems do. There’s a quick and dirty way to figure out if a particular system suits your organization, and that is to go and do site visits. Select a cross-discipline team of physicians and nurses and IT and send them to other installations for several days to shadow people and dig into the real operations of the system being reviewed. Dig deep. Look at the user interface in action. Look at the interfacing and reporting. Look at the errors and support needs. Look at the BC/DR capabilities.

Yes, this will cost you a lot of money, probably upwards of $100,000 for looking at 3 different systems. If it saves you making a $3M purchasing mistake, it’s money well spent. If you’re REALLY good at purchasing, you can get the vendors to pay for the excursions so you don’t have to. That’s the best way, because if the vendors don’t have that level of faith in their system or that level of funding for sales, then they probably aren’t a good choice. Remember, a mistake in purchasing an EMR goes way beyond the price on the invoice, so you have got to get it right. The more right it is, the better you all look on the cover of the monthly healthcare magazine. The more wrong it is, well, we call those “resume generating events”.

Please make sure to include security and forensics in the criteria. That’s our part. We’re available to assist with purchasing evaluations if you need us, and we only need one day and it doesn’t even need to be on site. We can also help with the business side of things, if you’re light on the IT side as some organizations are. Proper purchasing processes and vendor evaluations were figured out back in the 1960’s so there’s no reason for anyone to get it wrong.