MDM Implementations: Steps for Success

What is the most important aspect to address for any successful MDM implementation? For those of us who work closely within client MDM environments, we’d probably all agree that it’s the pre-work that healthcare teams must consider before a systems integration partner arrives on site for the MDM implementation.

This is the most important aspect because it sets the stage for everything that follows.


Our role at HighPoint is to provide insight and strategic direction for the client. We recognize that the client resources assisting with the MDM platform implementation have full-time job responsibilities. They have many important governance and technology tasks, and, as with anything added to one’s plate, they may think they can `get these other things done when they get them done.’ However, to ensure a successful MDM implementation, there are critical prerequisite tasks that can help maintain the implementation tone of urgency and velocity.

Elevate these tasks in the stakeholders’ minds so it’s seen as a solid investment in project success. We are so confident about this that we add the tasks to our Statement of Work (SOW) to make sure our customers are aware of their importance.

If the pre-processing steps slip, then other aspects of the implementation will likely falter. To avoid this, it’s important that everything move with purpose and in a timely manner. Moving with a purpose keeps things advancing and maintains the urgency in a lengthy implementation.

Much of the focus of these early steps is to begin the cultural shift that MDM (like other governance disciplines) requires. These exercises establish a framework of ownership, stewardship, engagement and importance with MDM. The steps prevent a lackadaisical attitude from gaining a foothold, raising the visibility of MDM related work to ‘front-burner’ tasks, and eliminates some causes for delay.


The first step for all MDM implementation pre-work is the kickoff checklist. The client will receive a document that explains things that should be in place at the start of the implementation.

  • Data governance pre-work for cloud/on-premise readiness. Good data governance practices make for good data management and effectively using trustworthy data. Data governance includes people, processes and technologies that are needed to manage and protect the company’s data, and guarantee the data usable, accurate, complete, trustworthy, secure and discoverable. Most organizations have some form of data governance already in place for their systems and applications.The client should begin data governance activities for the first domain. The biggest success factor for any MDM project is business involvement in the process. Data governance allows the collaborative involvement of all business stakeholders. Setting up a data governance framework requires identifying the right stakeholders from the business for defining the MDM requirements. Those stakeholders will help with understanding the source data, setting scope, and identifying critical data elements. As discussed in an earlier blog, an effective data governance program starts with the framework.
  • Data prep – This means cleaning up and standardizing the data; this ensures clean, quality data. Data prep is similar to data hygiene, whereby the data is of a high-quality and consistent. Low-quality data can lead to incorrect business intelligence and errors that can make data analytics and other data activities slow. Data prep includes validating the data to make sure it is consistent with your data standards.
  • Establish Single Sign-on
  • Port activities – Check that ports are open to allow file data transfers in and out for both the cloud and on-premise systems.
  • Obtain security approvals that protect the data – This is applicable for the cloud environment and includes such things as understanding the networks and applications. Moving to the cloud can present risks that did not exist on-premise.
  • Pick an integration tool (applicable for both on-premise and cloud). Data integration requires combining data from various sources into a single view. You’ll want to select a data integration tool that can handle your data needs. The integration tool can cleanse, map and transform your data. It can also closely monitor the data when the integration starts.


While many organizations are moving to implementing MDM in the cloud, we recognize that some healthcare organizations will want to do it on-premise. This checklist is for you.

The first step for on-premise MDM implementation pre-work is having this kickoff checklist in-hand. The client will receive a document that explains things that should be in place prior to the start of the implementation.

The steps show the minimum requirements for ensuring the MDM implementation’s success. Prior to the start of the implementation, the client must have:

  • All vendor developer environments, applications (software) and access in place
  • Acquired MDM software and associated licenses
  • MDM and other necessary software actually downloaded
  • Hardware allocated with the operating system installed
  • Prerequisite software installed
  • Appropriately allocated (and verified) disk space, RAM, core capacity for
    • the MDM hub application
    • Affiliated applications (e.g., app servers, cleanse/integration engines, etc.)
    • MDM repository database environment
  • Contracts and vendor support available and ready to go

When it comes to server requirements, it’s important that the server meets the minimum core capacity requirements, a certain amount of RAM and a baseline for running MDM. The minimum requirements also allow for the system to run effectively, and account for anticipated growth (typically a 10-to-20 percent annual increase). There’s nothing worse than having healthcare clients implement the new technology, and bringing thousands of new members on a system that doesn’t work efficiently.


HighPoint’s pre-work steps help the client prepare, as we like to have all of this work done before project kickoff activities begin. A client partnering with HighPoint will see a cost savings because of our expertise with Informatica MDM implementations in healthcare. Because of HighPoint’s healthcare knowledge, we can perform the MDM implementation faster and at lower cost. We also know about regulatory and compliance issues unique to the industry. We can also help you execute these pre-work steps before the project kickoff.

The client should also allocate a liaison who will work with the consulting team. This person will collaborate with an organization like HighPoint and should have decision-making authority to facilitate agile tasks and maintain project velocity. As much of MDM testing takes place off hours and over weekends to keep system loads low, the client should also consider after hours and weekend support needs for critical MDM areas such as database administration and deployment management. Complete this important organizational before consultants arrive to begin the implementation.


By following the pre-work steps, the healthcare organization can eliminate issues, or at least anticipate them. The pre-work steps ensure that the client and HighPoint are paying attention to the details.

With planning, we start with the implementation date and work backwards to when the pre-work stages need to get underway. The pre-work steps are done in a relaxed, yet engaged, atmosphere. We need to accomplish things by a particular time. The pre-work steps are small things to do at least two weeks before implementation, and puts the client in a good place to begin the MDM implementation.

To learn more about the HighPoint Informatics practice and how we can help your organization, please reach out to Justin Washburn, Vice President, Informatics.