November/December 2007

CHI Connect Veterans Offer Advice


“We didn’t realize how big the CHI Connect train was when it was coming our way,” said Bennie Salkil. Dale Scott agrees. He’s glad that those implementing in later waves understand it sooner. Salkil and Scott share a unique perspective on CHI Connect, having served on the implementation team for St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kan., which began using the CHI Connect tools on July 1, 2007. Both are now on the implementation team for Central Kansas Medical Center, Great Bend, Kan., with go-live scheduled for July 1, 2008. Scott is director of information services for both facilities and Salkil is the human resources leader for both. They offer advice for market-based organizations that are implementing CHI Connect: Learn from earlier waves. “At Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tenn., there were recommendations for improving the supply chain component. At St. Catherine in Garden City, we learned from that and had a smoother supply chain experience. However, we didn’t capture human resources lessons and we had shortcomings as a result,” Scott said. “We’ve shared our lessons with Waves 2 and 3.” Put in the effort up front. “Getting things corrected has taken a lot of time. It’s the three to five percent of things that need correcting that consume 80 percent of my time. More work up front would have decreased the workload at the back end,” Salkil said. Communicate early and often. “The more you communicate with associates, the better. We had little resistance from people because we had helped them feel comfortable with what was coming,” Salkil said. Be patient. “We are all on a learning curve. Some of the bugs won’t be worked out until everyone is on the new system and there’s a period of stabilization,” Scott said. What are Scott’s and Salkil’s verdicts on CHI Connect? “The biggest home run was information access for associates,” said Salkil. “They like viewing benefits information at their convenience instead of making time to come see us in human resources from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Also, the applicant tracking process is one of my favorite features. The hiring process is smoother.” “Personally, I really like CHI Connect,” said Scott. “As a manager, when I’m off site I can work virtually. I did timecards at home last night from my easy chair.” “CHI Connect is a good system,” Salkil said. “I had people questioning my sanity when I said this will all be for the better. But, now they are beginning to like it. We’ll look back after six months and have the same reaction we did the first time we got a computer: ‘How did we ever live without this?’”