The award-winning University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio stands as a beacon of hope and good health for the 1.3 million children and adults who live in nearby communities. Also known as UT Health San Antonio, its Mays Cancer Center is one of only four National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers in Texas. Its diverse medical staff offers effective care to its patients while its researchers develop effective new treatments against cancers and other life-threatening diseases. And, as a University of Texas teaching facility, the health science center offers about 60 academic programs to train its students to become the doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals of the future.
UT Health San Antonio engaged Baker Tilly Digital, an Oracle PartnerNetwork Member, to migrate its PeopleSoft Human Resource system to Oracle HCM Cloud in order to handle planned growth and future challenges. Representatives of the university and Baker Tilly Digital described the center’s HCM modernization during the Alliance Conference 2023, sponsored by the Higher Education User Group (HEUG), in St. Louis earlier this year.
The speakers began their presentation by emphasizing the importance of comprehensive planning when it comes time to upgrade information technology systems.
“We think it is important that every institution or university embarking on a cloud implementation slowdown in the beginning and align with the rest of the organization on scope, timeline and resources,” said Camille Goessl, an Oracle Cloud delivery leader for Baker Tilly Digital.
Also speaking at the session was Brian Cartee, associate vice president for information technology services at UT Health San Antonio. He will oversee the Oracle HCM Cloud implementation that began in March 2023 and will conclude in January of 2025.
One of the biggest reasons UT Health San Antonio wanted to adopt modern systems and cloud computing, Cartee said, was to replace its current “fragmented” system that is now 20 years old.
“We just exceeded a billion-dollar budget and have around 7,900 employees with a lot of planned growth, particularly in the clinical space,” he said. “We wanted a flexible application that can keep up with that growth.” Cartee said the leaders of the university chose to move to Oracle Cloud for automated software updates with minimal team effort, ensuring that medical center staff always has access to the latest technology.
“We’re looking to quickly adopt best practices in running our medical center, and the agility that comes with that,” he said.
During their presentation, the speakers emphasized the importance of planning before launching a cloud transformation – to mitigate potential risks and ensure no one will be surprised during or after the technology implementation. Baker Tilly Digital offers pre-implementation planning, which they call the “calibration phase” of the project. The consultants spend several weeks working with their clients to plan the goals, scope, schedule, timeline, resources and costs of the project. The teams also make sure that all employees who will be working on the cloud implementation understand their new responsibilities.
Cartee recalled that the calibration phase of UT Health San Antonio cloud transformation featured detailed conversations with Oracle’s Value Realization Team. That team conducted a financial analysis of the costs involved with a move to the cloud, calculated the return on investment, and helped start the cloud conversion.
“We appreciated Baker Tilly Digital’s help in figuring out where the opportunities were for us, and the proper cadence to move forward,” Cartee said. “What I think the calibration did for us was to bring the team together to work through this pre-planning to make sure that we're aligned for success.”
On the grounds where cattle pens, milking barns and silos once stood, the doors opened to the new University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1968. Today, the center serves as a chief catalyst of San Antonio's $44.1 billion health care and biosciences economic sector. Each year, the university graduates some 200 physicians, 400 nurses, 100 dentists, 130 scientists and 560 other medical professionals. The health science center’s clinical practices count 2.6 million patient visits each year.
As the institution has grown, and the need for more streamlined human resources processes has grown, “it felt right to invest time and effort into our future platform, the Oracle HCM suite, now,” Cartee said.
The center’s goal, Cartee said, is to partner with Baker Tilly Digital to implement the complete Oracle Cloud HCM suite, including payroll, to offer employees the most rewarding work experience along with competitive salaries. The combination should attract the very best health professionals well into the future of this dynamic medical institution, he said, as the staff and students work together to fulfill their charge to “make lives better.”
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