Guam Hospital Staff Can’t Work New Financial System

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Lack of training leads to uncertainty of financial condition

By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 12, 2014) – Guam Memorial Hospital doesn't have a clear picture of its financial condition because hospital staff can't work the newly acquired financial management system, hospital officials told the hospital board Wednesday evening.

The off-island contractor didn't provide adequate training to hospital staff, according to hospital Administrator Joseph Verga.

Hospital Information Technology Administrator Vincent Quichocho said the conversion to the new system started Oct. 11, and there have been some obstacles.

Hospital acting Chief Financial Officer Benita Manglona said some processes, like inputting payments or collections, which used to take employees a few minutes, take much longer under the new system and have caused a backlog at the financial department.

She also said that the problems with the conversion to the new system may affect the financial numbers for the hospital.

"I'm concerned we're not capturing everything we can capture," she said.

Verga told the board he expects to have actual financial numbers for the last two months in time for next month's board meeting. If they don't have the data, he will bring in the vendor to answer questions, Verga said.

The hospital has had problems with the vendor, NTT Data, before, Verga said.

He said he will speak to the vendor and ask it to bring a team to Guam, for a month, to provide hands-on training with staff.

Verga said the vendor was on Guam for a few weeks, but it needs to come back to help the hospital with the software.

"They should never have left when they did. They need to come back," he said.

Manglona agreed the vendor left too soon.

"I think they should have been here longer. I've seen the frustration with the staff," Manglona said.

Verga said it's a very difficult process, no matter how well you plan or train, and the hospital is having more than its fair share of problems.

The board questioned whether the vendor provided videos online, for staff to look at to learn, but Quichocho said there are none.

Board Chairman Lee Webber asked why training videos weren't provided for a program that already has been paid for.

"I don't understand it," Webber said.

Quichocho said hospital staff is so used to the old program and its features that they are having a hard time grasping the new one.

Some features in the old program, like turning data into a report, can be difficult on the new system, he said.

Verga agreed, and said that's why the vendor is being asked to return to Guam. He said he hopes to train "super users" who can teach employees when the vendor leaves.

"We'll get through it. It will just take longer than we anticipated," Verga said.

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