ASPE Training Allscripts Dental Case Study

Allscripts BA Academy: A Clinical Perspective

Donna Hayes is a Clinical Business Analyst with Allscripts. She brings a healthcare background and clinical experience to the software development processes at Allscripts, but she was new to business analysis. She spoke with us about the importance of the training program to a new BA.

donna-clinical-analystDonna’s background is in nursing and clinical work. She was hired by Allscripts to provide subject matter expertise as a business analyst for software products that would ultimately be purchased and used by healthcare professionals. By onboarding specialized BA staff members such as Donna, Allscripts can truly identify and respond to the unique needs of their healthcare client base. She brings a vital clinical component to Allscripts’ product design process.

Business Analysis at Allscripts: The Clinical Component

As she helps design how products work for the clinical user, she also has a responsibility to patient safety in feature design and product release. She writes user stories and runs sprints for the implementation teams on the back end of the Allscripts delivery process. The marriage of Donna’s healthcare background with a software development environment is the type of combination that allows Allscripts to market products in the mission-critical and highly technical world of healthcare.

However, although her clinical background was invaluable, when she first started she was completely new to the world of business analysis as a profession. She was a perfect candidate to attend the Allscripts BA Academy from ASPE.

According to Donna, attending the classes allowed her to understand the language of business analysis from the perspective of a BA professional, rather than strictly as a nurse or a clinical practitioner. She describes how helpful it was to simply learn the vocabulary and processes of a business analyst. The technical language of her healthcare background differed completely from the standardized language of a BA working on a software team. Attending a structured series of BA classes quickly allowed her to get up to speed on the language of a BA, and therefore become a “translator” between clinical needs and software feature design.

The Training Experience

Donna describes the ASPE courses as “information intensive.” The program required effort and a certain time commitment, but Allscripts’ dedication to developing employee skills and the leap in her capability made it worth it. She can now keep new development measurable and testable, with standardized processes and expectations. She learned to model present state and future state, and how to specifically define the “how and why” of feature design and deliverables.

Despite the challenge, Donna said the training experience was fun. She was impressed with the way the classes worked as a series, building a complete professional skill set which all tied together at the end of the training program. 

We asked Donna to name some specific responsibilities the courses helped bring method to on a daily basis. Her key picks revolved around communication and stakeholder identification. Specifically, she told us she gained great deal of value from:

  • Learning to correctly identify key stakeholders
  • Writing appropriate goals for end users
  • Isolating specifics of system behavior
  • Eliciting detailed, well-defined requirements
  • Using tangible methods for connecting feature design, code building, and QA

As Donna became better versed in business analysis tools and techniques, she began to identify parallels between her clinical background and the BA profession. For instance, healthcare practitioners know that workflow is a critical issue. A veteran business analyst will say the same thing. Teams have to keep things moving appropriately, and their final products have to function in a way that allows efficient, correct workflow in the end use environment as well.

As simple as an insight like this may seem, it demonstrates perfectly how valuable the training experience is for a BA like Donna who performs business analysis work in a sophisticated field. Learning standardized techniques for connecting dots, from laying the groundwork for a project with regulatory research and stakeholder identification, to executing in a way that seamlessly ports design over to the software development and QA team, is the heart of a BA training program. Donna used the example of redesigning a prescription process. Where does the physician enter the process? Where does the patient enter the process? Where does product enter the process? An expert set of BA tools allows a solution to be accurately mapped.

Tying it All Together

Donna left us with one final valuable observation. As new as she was to the BA role when she began training, she described how there were seasoned business analysts working in the field for 15 or 20 years who took away just as much value from the ASPE training as she did. Despite smart teams and a wealth of experience, Allscripts had a variety of procedures and vocabularies being used. It was the teaching of a uniform, consistent, and fully updated BA body of knowledge that synchronized teams across the enterprise and dramatically improved the quality and time to market of the Allscripts’ products built by Donna and her teams. This is the experience of a huge percentage of the BA teams ASPE trains. The technology is there, and so are the processes. It’s getting your people in step with them and with each other that unlocks both daily and strategic advantage.

Click a section to explore the Allscripts Business Analysis Training Program:

  • Read an Executive Summary
    Get a high-level snapshot of the challenges Allscripts faced with their business analysis practices and how enterprise training helped overcome them.

  • Debbie: Senior Manager
    Debbie is a senior manager responsible for user experience on the HomeCare product line at Allscripts. She manages a team of business analysts who work together on product development.

  • Jose: Expert Business Analyst
    Jose is a cross-functional BA expert who profiles finance-oriented end users. Previously he worked in the Ukraine as a business analyst for Allscripts' development teams.

  • Ken: Practicing Business Analyst
    Ken works on EHR products, researches regulatory requirements, and coordinates software solutions.

This case study is a deep dive into the business analysis training solution ASPE built for Allscripts, which they refer to as the “BA Academy”. Our software and business analysis experts helped them perform organizational process assessments. We also delivered many granular personal assessments for their teams. Once process gaps and skills gaps were pinpointed, a training program was built and delivered that left them with fully functioning business analysis teams. Key departments and leaders also earned industry-standard certifications that guaranteed the most current, up to date skills in this important and constantly evolving software development role.