Surviving SAP Implementation in a Hospital

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CASE STUDY. On January 1, 2011, the Valle del Lili Foundation, a university hospital in Cali, Colombia, went from using paper for medical records and all associated clinical and administrative processes to managing everything electronically.

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Surviving SAP Implementation in a Hospital: Abstract

On January 1, 2011, the Valle del Lili Foundation, a university hospital in Cali, Colombia, went from using paper for medical records and all associated clinical and administrative processes to managing everything electronically. This was a significant deviation from the industry norm since it was unusual for a hospital to simultaneously implement electronic medical records, computerized physician order entry, and enterprise resource planning. If they are implemented at all, they are generally done so independently.

Also, hospitals that rise to the challenge of adopting information technology face a high failure rate, mainly for staff-related reasons, especially when medical staff resist its use. VLF’s management team knew it had to achieve the buy-in of doctors as well as of clinical and clerical staff if it was to successfully implement SAP, a system that would reformulate workflows throughout the hospital. This case documents how the hospital achieved this ambitious goal. In doing so, it illustrates how organizations can manage large-scale change processes.

Teaching objectives

  • Understanding the challenges of a big-bang ERP implementation in a hospital environment
  • Reflecting on the key success factors of IT projects
  • Understanding the process of change management and identifying the key steps and activities of change management

Main themes covered

  • Change management associated with a large-scale information technology implementation

Concepts and theories related to the case

  • Change management
  • Organizational learning
  • Lewin’s planned change
  • SAP implementation
  • ERP

Additional information

Also available in Spanish.

Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre for more information.

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