Case Study

Health System IT Modernization Roadmap Boosts Efficiency

Guidehouse helped a regional health system modernize its EHR, ERP, and IT infrastructure.


A leading regional health system's five-year strategic plan focused on addressing challenges common to many U.S. health systems following the COVID-19 pandemic – managing the pressures of increased costs and achieving a growth strategy despite patient volumes not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. But many initiatives relied on the interoperability, productivity, and patient-engagement benefits that come with deploying the latest next-generation healthcare technology. The dilemma was not just getting to the finish line, but how far back the starting block began.

The health system’s IT department had spent the last several decades operating in a decentralized model allowing for ad hoc requests and department-specific IT projects. As a result, the health system was:

  • Due for a critical refresh across all IT infrastructure, including the network, data center, and end-user device hardware
  • Supporting nine siloed electronic health records (EHRs) and 23 unique enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform applications

Without making the capital investments required to modernize IT infrastructure, the IT department was struggling to realize its goal of transforming its IT environment and operating model. Among a variety of other relevant goals in the strategic plan, priorities for the health system involved implementing both a net-new enterprise EHR and a new ERP platform. The IT team also faced the challenge of minimizing the pervasive use of shadow IT across the organization and outside the span of corporate IT’s control. These challenges needed to factor in the necessary preventative measures given the sophisticated cybersecurity threats facing today’s healthcare industry.

The provider’s current IT environment and the necessary goals to support the strategic plan required an experienced advisor with an understanding of the technological complexities that large health systems face today. Modernizing IT service delivery involves considering all aspects of the IT organization and business strategy alignment.



The health system used Guidehouse’s IT modernization frameworks to analyze all IT components, including existing strategies, hardware, software, infrastructure, networking, and data management. This analysis served as the basis for the health system’s newly structured approach to understanding the current IT environment and overall risks across the enterprise. The team then worked to define IT department goals and ensure that the IT modernization would align with the organization’s overall strategy and address obstacles in the current IT infrastructure.

Enterprise EHR and ERP Plan

Guidehouse partnered with both the client and relevant software vendors to evaluate, select, and recommend a go-forward enterprise EHR and ERP platform. The analysis included comprehensive cost comparisons, a final total cost of ownership, and a draft budget that was approved by the health system’s board of directors. Guidehouse advised a comprehensive staffing model, an implementation timeline, and a governance framework that would position the organization to succeed with the upcoming implementation.


IT Modernization

Guidehouse worked alongside the client to create an IT modernization roadmap for not only core technical infrastructure but also a workforce and delivery support model. Guidehouse developed and delivered the formal recommendation for a strategic plan that prioritized several core elements:

  • A comprehensive network, data center, and hardware refresh — A comprehensive network, data center, and hardware refresh to accommodate both the pre-EHR and ERP go-live time and the long-term support structure necessary for the two new enterprise platforms (including a cloud strategy). The hardware refresh included end-user laptops, workstations, monitors, and the audio-visual equipment necessary to support the implementations.
  • A new IT service management platform (ITSM)  A new IT service management platform (ITSM) for improving service desk management and asset, identity, and access management capabilities. Ultimately, the ITSM implementation would promote more proactive and less costly management of IT functions and devices. It would also increase the IT department’s ability to manage cyber risks. By implementing an ITSM platform, the client would be able to provide self-service IT support, which previously did not exist, improve its portfolio management processes, be more proactive with demand management, and increase visibility into all assets and applications to support security control and secure architectures. In addition, Guidehouse developed recommended go-forward workforce models that shifted IT support from operating as a local on-demand function to a more proactive IT support-as-a-service model.



As part of the IT strategy process, Guidehouse partnered with the health system on a cybersecurity strategic alignment check that identified 39 high-risk items. In addition, Guidehouse worked with the client to develop a strategy and plan for ensuring cybersecurity compliance which included a broad, organizational cyber strategy and guidelines to align it with the ERP implementation.

Guidehouse then developed an IT strategy to enable migration to the multi-tenant cloud while improving its cybersecurity, enabling the organization to shift effectively and safely to its new cloud environment. This integrated approach ensured that the health system was protected at all stages of its transformation and provided the organization with robust capabilities and safeguards to ensure future compliance and patient privacy.



Enhancing the current IT operating model will help the provider better manage cost pressures and improve interoperability, productivity, and patient-engagement. The IT modernization and enterprise EHR and ERP will enable the organization to improve productivity and efficiency. In addition, self-service report generation, and the ability to conduct predictive analysis and integrate datasets, provides staff with improved insight generation. The new IT operating model’s more streamlined processes are designed to ensure compliance with policies and procedures and better enable future modernization efforts across the enterprise.

Guidehouse’s cross-functional analysis, framework, and guidance also enabled a process of integrating cybersecurity planning, strategy, and capabilities with the IT transformation initiative, positioning the health system to improve protection from cyberattacks and mitigate other business risks.

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