Due diligence essential for effective IT following mergers

IT services are vital for health care success. This is true for the smallest doctors' offices and even more so for major hospitals. When these organizations merge to form larger entities, the significance of IT processes and assets are further increased.

Many hospital leaders underestimate the challenges that are inherent to these developments. When a hospital merges with or acquires another health care provider, two distinct approaches to IT are suddenly brought together, and the resulting system will likely not represent a smooth transition. On the contrary, these organizations need to conduct thorough due diligence to assess and unify diverse IT systems and ensure effective IT service delivery, as Dina and Linda Ross recently asserted for The American Health Lawyers Association.

Controlled chaos
As Dina and Linda Ross explained, hospital mergers typically lead to at least a certain amount of chaos throughout the newly created organization. This may be particularly problematic in the realm of IT services.

"IT department of the merging or divesting entity (the Seller) and the IT department of the acquiring entity (the Buyer) are likely on entirely different platforms and with different IT infrastructures, which means there is going to be an amazing amount of work necessary to make the two IT departments function as one after the effective date of the Underlying Transaction," they wrote.

The writers went on to argue that the only way for hospitals to effectively overcome these hurdles is by conducting – or by hiring a third-party to conduct – comprehensive due diligence. This process, which can potentially take months, involves a huge range of tasks, including inventorying equipment, software, firmware and interfaces, as well as locating relevant contracts, licenses and maintenance service agreements for both health care entities' IT assets. 

"The process of inventorying, assessing and transitioning speak strongly to the value that Aptris' ITIL service delivery process framework brings to hospital mergers."

ITIL impact
This process of inventorying, assessing and transitioning speak strongly to the value that Aptris' ITIL service delivery process framework brings to hospital mergers. Our ITIL offering was specifically created to help post-merger health care providers develop new IT ecosystems that combine the best aspects of each original entity while rejecting the less useful components, all while creating new IT processes to fill in any resulting gaps in service. 

Additionally, Aptris' ITIL offers metrics that reveal whether or not hospital IT goals are being met. If not, we then dive back in to  further optimize the organization's approach to IT in every area.