With Sciforma, Montreal Hospital Masters Healthcare Transition
Following Quebec’s healthcare overhaul, the Jewish General Hospital successfully tracks portfolios of budgets and schedules for hundreds of new projects.
About the Jewish General Hospital
Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital (JGH) is a 637-bed facility founded in 1934. Affiliated with McGill University, it has an excellent reputation for serving patients from throughout the region, regardless of race, religion, language or ethnic background. It is one of two officially bilingual hospitals, serving both the French- and English-speaking communities.
Under a major change in the Quebecois health care system, JGH was required to rapidly establish interfaces with 30 other facilities. This represented a major transition. Up to that point, the hospital’s project managers had been using a patchwork of solutions including Microsoft Word, Excel and Project, as well as dedicated financial software. But suddenly faced with hundreds of projects to execute very quickly under tight budgetary constraints, the JGH needed a solution that would be implemented quickly and broadly, could centralize requests, and would handle project portfolios – all at a reasonable cost. Plus, very importantly, it had to be able to serve a user base of both French and English speakers.
A Bit of Background
Healthcare in Canada is publicly administered by each province.In 2015, the province of Quebec enacted what was known as Bill 10, which called for a major overhaul of the system.The entire province was divided into a new set of healthcare regions integrating university centers for health and social services. These regions are called CIUSSS, for Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux. The JGH is in the west-central Montreal CIUSSS.
As the CIUSSS are responsible for all local health and social services (including mental health), providers were required to implement a wide range of collaborations and partnerships. For the JGH, that meant rapidly creating partnerships with clinics, pharmacies, primary health care facilities, community and medical groups, as well as with other hospitals and partners such as schools.
The JHG worked with consultants to find the right solution.
“There are a lot of tools that let you manage projects,” notes Julie Vaillant, the hospital’s planning, project and strategy coordinator. “That’s the easy part. But finding a tool that lets you manage portfolios of projects as well as the projects themselves, that’s not easy to find – especially given our budget. Sciforma does all we asked - and more.”
Indeed, JGH found that Sciforma met all their requirements. In particular they cited the following advantages:
- An “out-of-the-box” solution, Sciforma could be implemented rapidly and at an affordable price. The JGH only pays for the features they use.
- The Sciforma solution is 100% configurable, which allows them to adapt it to fit their needs.
In the context of the rush and the organizational upheaval the JGH faced in joining the CIUSSS, the hospital’s project managers relied on Sciforma for guidance and support. A kick off meeting set the stage for a smooth implementation. The basic configuration and implementation phase was done in just a few days. Over time, as they’ve adjusted and streamlined their processes, they’ve opted to add in more Sciforma functionalities.
Adaptability. The Sciforma solution is flexible in terms of access management and the choice of methodologies. For example:
- The project team members have their own portals -- an out-of-the-box Sciforma feature, with forms for inputting ideas and project requests.
- Access is personalized, so each user sees just what they need to see.
- JGH chose to configure the tool in English, but users can opt for a French or English interface.
- Terminology that differs across healthcare sectors is accommodated.
- Project Managers can implement their own methodologies.
- Read-only access is free.
Consolidation. The JGH is now managing over 350 projects using the Sciforma solution. The Gantt chart functionalities are far more powerful and much easier to use than the patchwork of solutions the JGH had used before.
Accounts & Budgets . The Sciforma solution integrates intelligent budget management for 25 JGH accounts. Projects and portfolios are affiliated with the accounts, so it’s always clear what is available in a given budget. Performance timetables can be simulated, and project priorities established.
Performance managers use the Sciforma tools to autonomously manage their own projects. They enter performance data into the Gantt chart, so they always have a detailed overview of how a project is moving along, and how closely they’re tracking with schedules and budgets.
Integrated dashboards. Dashboards are integrated in the Sciforma tool, and include pre-formatted information. Reports are generated automatically.
As was recently noted in the JGH monthly magazine, “Bill 10 aims to provide a seamless and integrated continuum of care, broader access, a reduction in the fragmentation and duplication of care, and greater accountability by restructuring Quebec’s public healthcare system. As a further benefit, the government has estimated that the changes will result in cost-savings of roughly $220 million per year by eliminating a major layer of bureaucracy.” Joining the CIUSSS presented major challenges. But with the Sciforma solution, JGH project management is finding the prognosis is excellent.