It’s time for healthcare organizations to replace and modernize their HRIS 

When evaluating their current human resources information system (HRIS), healthcare organizations face a decision: To get the advantages they seek, should they make a significant investment in their existing infrastructure or move to an entirely new system? Which choice will better meet their current and future needs? Applying the principles outlined below, Mercer can help.

Choose a system that addresses today’s challenges (not yesterday’s)

Healthcare organizations face more challenges than ever before — including ensuring compliance with government vaccination requirements, addressing talent shortages, shifting to a new definition of work, and streamlining and simplifying financial processes. Challenges that older, more antiquated systems, which rely heavily on manual processes, aren’t equipped to deal with. Upgrading antiquated systems is a band-aid approach usually done to fix technical issues rather than push new and improved functionality. In today’s environment, it’s just as big of a lift to implement a new system as it is to upgrade an existing system. Moving to a modernized HRIS allows healthcare organizations to avoid wasting money trying to upgrade an older system that ultimately creates more problems than it solves.

Stay focused on your desired state: Carefully consider what you need, then toss the rest

Moving to a new system is much like moving houses: It requires efficiently packing up your things in an orderly way. If, on moving day, nothing is boxed up and labeled kitchen, living room or dining room, your movers must spend time figuring out how to pack up everything, inevitably delaying the move itself. And you’ll end up paying more because you didn’t properly prepare.

Before organizations move to a new HRIS, they have to ready their existing “house” by organizing it and getting rid of the stuff sitting unused in the garage, attic or basement. Disagreements over what to keep and toss invariably ensue; decisions will have to be made. 

Organizations can make more strategic choices and avoid missteps by asking:

  • What should our HR operating model look like?
  • How will our organization deliver the HR function to our employees, managers and executive leaders?
  • How will we address problems and escalate issues?
  • Which interaction model will we use for HR processes?
If organizations don’t focus on their desired future state and instead move over their existing state, they will bring in broken processes and workarounds from their current system. And their transformation efforts, unsurprisingly, will fail.

Know that efficient preparation is critical — and takes less time than you think

Successfully transitioning to a new HRIS demands careful preparation and expert support. Many organizations assume it takes six, nine or even 12 months of pre-work to get ready to move to a new system. But when you know how to complete the preparation work efficiently — using workstreams focused on, for example, change management, job architecture and deployment readiness — it takes much less time (as little as 90 to 120 days).

The sequence of events leading up to the move to a new HRIS is crucial to completing your transformation on time and on budget. Knowing the step-by-step process required to package up your old system — and bringing only what’s necessary to the new system — allows you to achieve a modernized, streamlined HRIS fit for the future.

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