Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT

The purpose of this paper is to provide a first-hand account of the activities and responsibilities of the role of Project Manager based on interview responses from one who is currently in that role during an active project within a healthcare organization. In the world today, the things that project managers are responsible for is ever increasing. Since these activities are important to the success of the project and the team involved, it is therefore just as important understand the core activities project managers are responsible for. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT. It is the intention of this writer to gain an empirical understanding of activities involved in the role of a project manager and the impact this role has on projects in the environment of a healthcare organization.


Context of the Interview

The professional selected as the informant for the interview is currently in the role of project manager (PM) at a healthcare organization in Austin, Texas. The selection process for this interview was rather simple since there is a mutual acquaintance between the interviewee and this author. This individual has managed electronic health record (EHR) implementations for various hospitals and is actively managing the implementation of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and Cerner clinical documentation system throughout the organization’s NICU departments. It is this extensive background that qualifies this healthcare professional to provide competent insight into the role of a PM. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT. Due to the distance between residential landmarks, the interview was arranged through email contact and conducted by phone.

Roles and Functions

The interviewee expressed aside from ensuring that the objectives met as proposed to the stake holders, her role as a PM in her organization means structure and prioritization of resources to meet government or organizational policies, needs, or wants of providers for automated workflow. PMs are assigned to specific projects based on their strengths, abilities, and even their weaknesses. Often a PM may be assigned to a project to train for future projects. The role of a PM in her organization is responsible for coordinating weekly update meetings and design sessions, collaborating with various project committees, allocating resources, and ensuring that all project processes and activities remain on track. Keeping a running log of the organization’s policies close at hand is one tip the PM considers extremely helpful for ensuring that both state and government policy requirements are met throughout the project.

Synthesis of NICU Project and Literature Comparison

In this section of the paper this author will synthesize the information collected from the PM during the interview pertaining to how the goals and administration of the project were addressed and compare it to that found in project management literature. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT. The PM begins with identifying the goal of the project to be the implementation of CPOE and Cerner documentation in the departments within the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The objective is to have full deployment of thin charts, bar-code medication administration (BCMA), and bedside medical device interface (BMDI) within a 9-10-month timeline. To meet this goal project managers, use a universal management template when working on a project to promote continuity and minimize deviation from the organization’s expectations. According to Project Management Institute (2017, p. 1), managers of successful projects use a key set of skills and knowledge to satisfy the customer and others involved or effected by the project. Positive project outcomes are the result of the application of established project management practices, principles, processes, tools, and techniques by managers and leaders (Project Management Institute, 2017, p.1). Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT.

Once the need or want is established and funding secured, authorization to initiate the project is received. The PM is then given the contact info for the project sponsor. The role of the project sponsor is to support the PM in the negotiations with stakeholders by commiting to identify and assign the best suited candidates for the project assignment and further negotiating with the the candidates and their supervisors (Coplan & Mastrian, 2018, p. 83). Since the sponsors are well aware of the time line and overall budget, their support is invaluable to mitigating potential resistance from supervisors to free up the time of their most valued staff.

Along with the help of the project sponsor, the PM proceeds to form a steering committee. Literature defines the steering committee as a collective of chief organizational leaders (e.g., CMO, CNO, CFO, CIO) responsible for successfully guiding the project to completion by supporting, reviewing, and approving all activities of the project (Coplan & Mastrian, 2018, p. 82). The steering committee for the NICU project at this organization is comprised of approximately 18 members, six of which were non-voting members, including stakeholders, such as department leaders, physicians, nurses, educators, and other high-level organizational leaders. It is the responsibility NICU steering committee to outline the project goal, timeline, required resources (people and equipment), dependencies and cost. They are also responsible for approving the charter and set up a kick off to tell interested or affected parties about the upcoming project. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT.

When asked what is contained in the NICU project charter, the PM explained that it lists the project requestor, the project sponsor, project description, the contractual services needed, and the timeline. It further details the project funding, hardware cost and labor description, the sites impacted, the major dependencies, effects on the end user, and who would need training on what was discussed with the steering committee. The project charter is like the press release for a project as a charter announces the project and the responsibilities and authority of the PM (Biafore, 2010, p. 35). Biafore (2010, p. 35), expresses that a project charter carries little weight unless it is delivered by someone to grant authority, like the project sponsor. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT. Typical charter elements are project name, purpose, name of PM and their duties, authority of the PM, and official commitment to the project (Biafore, 2010, p. 36). The NICU charter described in the interview includes these appears to include these elements as well.

Upon execution of the NICU project, weekly update meetings were arreanged with a set agenda to review project objectives such as timeline, resources, dependencies, and deliverables. Design sessions are also arranged where stakeholders, builders, physicians, nurses, and ancillary work together to make design decisions based on portions of the current build presented during this session. Reports are often generated by the project team to help the track the current stages of project which allows active budget data to be presented when looking at the organizations upcoming budget. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT. During project execution, the PM coordinates operation of all taskes performed by project team memebers including deliverables, performance, change requests to the baseline project documents, and project document updates related to a project issue but unrelated to baseline documents (Coplan & Mastrian, 2018, p. 45).

The NICU project is currently in the closing phase where the designed system has been tested and implemented, and the optimization period has commenced. Budgeted resources are used to run reports that allow us to see if the system is being used as expected, errors that are being made because of the new system tasks are not staff, and to provide additional education sessions to the end-users. The project team also sends out news flashes, with tips and tricks, and manuals to let the staff know they are still engaged in the making new implementation a success. Once the project is complete the PM will review the goals with the steering committee to ensure that they are met within the timeline and cost stated in the charter. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT. This report will then be given to the PMO where it will be used to create a document detailing lessons learned during this project to be filed with the other project documents. According to Coplan & Mastrian (2018, p. 49), the project closeout is when tasks are finished, deliverables accepted, work is transferred to operations, users are trained, and the project is signed off by the steering committee. A closeout report is also a requirement of the closing process. This report includes things discovered by the team throughout the experience that had a positive or negative effected the project and is used to lessons learned document (Coplan & Mastrian, 2018, p. 49). Coplan & Mastrian (2018, p. 49), further explains that documenting these learned lessons is a formal way of capturing gained experience and institutional knowledge to be passed on for the next project. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT.

Impact on My Success as a Project Management

Based on the responsibilities and activities undertaken during the project by the PM interviewed, it is obvious that healthcare IT (HIT) can be quite complex and challenging. From the information collected during the interview, this author has identified skills and characteristics that will need to improve and mastered to be successful. Organizational skills appear to be a crucial skill required to fill this role. However, the success of the NICU project can in part be contributed to the use of a standardized management template. It would be advantageous to make it a personal goal to work toward the development of such a template in whichever healthcare organization this author has the pleasure of servicing. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT.


Biafore, B. (2010). Microsoft Project 2010: The missing manual. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

Coplan, S., & Masuda, D. (2011). Project management for healthcare information technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide) (6th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Author. Managing Projects Essay – Nurs-6441C, Section 1, Project Management: Healthcare IT.

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