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SharingEnterprise Resource Planning Tools Paves the Way for Closer Collaboration

Published August 25, 2014

In order to position ourselves to collaborate more broadly, PacMed and Providence have reviewed current systems in place to support our joint efforts going forward. We’ve moved closer to aligning many of our core administrative functions with the work we started this month to integrate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which is encouraging news. ERP software helps organizations manage core business processes, and is used to track resources—such as cash and supplies—and the status of different types of transactions, including job applications, orders, purchase orders and payroll. The Lawson integration team is currently working through technical challenges related to Department of Defense security requirements, and anticipates PacMed’s nine clinic locations will join Providence and Swedish in using Lawson as an ERP solution by the end of June 2015. 

Approximately 80 percent of health care systems across the country, including many of the largest, use Lawson in support of their day-to-day back office operations. Providence and Swedish use the Lawson system to manage general ledger (accounting), accounts payable, supply chain, human capital management (HR), payroll and talent acquisition functions, so alignment in this area makes sense to support our overall strategy.

Lawson is currently the foundation for planning and collaboration based on a standard set of practices and assumptions at Providence and Swedish. Lawson tools support care delivery innovation, by allowing apples-to-apples comparisons of data across many administrative functions. When our organizations are all using Lawson, we’ll be better positioned to pursue new product lines, program expansion and growth because of that ability to share and compare information. Integration will also improve collaboration by increasing the accuracy of our joint planning and forecasting.

The groundwork is being laid now for the transition of PacMed clinics to Lawson. Necessary training will be provided in the weeks leading up to implementation to ensure a smooth transition.

Implementing a shared set of ERP tools is seen as an important component of our affiliation strategy. It is grounded in the work the transition committee has already done to understand how our organizations get our work done, and allows us to maximize the economies of scale created through the affiliation. As we implement these tools, we move closer to our goal of keeping exceptional care accessible for our communities.