Interview with Tore Fribert, technical subprogram manager.

13.5+ million EUR worth of technology

Region Zealand has spent millions on a hardware to upgrade the hospitals to the healthcare platform. The installation of technical gear, IT infrastructure and complex procurement processes are all in a day’s work for subprogram manager Tore Fribert.

Interview with Tore Fribert, technical subprogram manager through ProData Consult

When doctors and nurses in Region Zealand put on their scrubs at the region’s hospitals at the end of 2017, their interactions with patients will be documented in the new region-wide healthcare IT system. And so computers, monitors, scanners, printers, digital patient bracelets and a lot more equipment have to be purchased and configured before Region Zealand’s four hospitals, psychiatric institutions, hospital pharmacy and five self-governing institutions start using the healthcare platform in November next year.

Responsibility for making sure the technology works rests primarily on the shoulders of ProData consultant Tore Fribert. Since May 2016, he has been working as technical program manager for the Region Zealand’s in-house deliverable program, which is the part of the healthcare platform for which Region Zealand and the Capital Region of Denmark must ensure the functionality. The in-house deliverable includes training, implementation, applications and technology associated with Denmark’s largest healthcare IT project.

“My job is to get all of the equipment ready at the hospitals, test whether it works, and whether it’s compatible with the healthcare platform, whether it lives up to the requirements from the software supplier and so on. These are concrete tasks with short-term goals, but which are at the same time part of a large, expensive and complex project. It’s very exciting to be involved in the technological testing,” explains Fribert.

Nothing is left to chance. For example, all PC monitors need to be at least 23-inch in order for the healthcare platform to function properly on them.

Slow purchasing and lots of opinions

Before Fribert was hired as technical subprogram manager, he was in charge of building the healthcare platform infrastructure. This project, which was transferred to Region Zealand, involved building the platform for the IT project – in other words, making the data centers, networks, servers data storage and so on work.

The bill for the technical aspects of the health-care platform will amount to over 13.5 million EUR.

In this context, Fribert has had to deal with the complex procurement processes of EU tenders and SKI contracts (the Danish government’s purchasing authority), which means that purchasing processes can take up to a year. What’s more, collaboration between two institutions in the public sector is often a dicey affair:

“It’s been difficult to kickstart the infrastructure project. You have these two giant organizations which form part of a complex governance structure, each of which has a lot of stakeholders with opinions about IT, operations and the program. So it was an uphill battle until people actually began working together across the different levels of management. But as soon as we defined the scope, it went fine,” he says.

Lessons from the capital

Today, the infrastructure project provides Fribert with the advantage that he knows a lot of the people who are working with parts of the healthcare platform in both regions – from procurement lawyers to middle managers. In addition, Region Zealand has the advantage that the Capital Region has already implemented the healthcare platform at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, and is preparing to implement it at Rigshospitalet, Denmark’s leading hospital. As Fribert explains:

“We’re drawing on their experience to a high degree, and I have regular meeting with my counterpart in the capital, so we avoid making the same mistakes. Some of the issues are simply practical. For example, I’m now prepared for the fact that even if we make a map showing where all of the PCs are located at the hospitals, we know from experience that most of them will have been moved to a new place after a month. These are the kinds of challenges I communicate to my project managers, which is why I try to facilitate contact between them and the people in the capital region. Here it’s a huge advantage that I have eighteen months of experience from my work on the healthcare platform, because I know a lot of the people already."

3 helpful tips

  1. The most important thing is a good climate of cooperation between the two regions - creating a shared understanding how the project is to be run and designed all the way down on the level of project managers and architects.
  2. Close communication is important.
  3. The collaboration with Epic, supplier of software to the healthcare platform. We have been able to draw on Epic’s experience with other clients.  

Who's who

Name: Tore Fribert
Age: 49
Education: MSc in business administration
Title: Technical subprogram manager for the inhouse deliverable program for Region Zealand

Has previously worked for: TopDanmark, NNIT and Saxo Bank