Successfully Integrate Technology into a Healthcare Setting
August 5, 2021
By John "Ogie" Sheehy, Global CIO and CEO European Business
When you think of a salesperson, no one will blame you if what springs to mind is the door-to-door type who doesn’t take no for an answer. The kind of peddler who compels homeowners to hide behind their curtains until the coast is clear. Thankfully, though, the old stigma of the seller-buyer relationship is evolving. Particularly in the healthcare technology space, synergy is valued above solicitation. Collaboration, rather than coercion, is the prized outcome.
Although the seller-buyer relationship has vastly improved as design thinking and feedback loops have entered the fray, there are still specific actions required to ensure the best possible collaboration between tech provider and tech user. Here are a few to keep in mind as your hospital, clinic or covered entity brings on a new technology partner.
Involve the Total Stakeholder Group as Early as Possible.
Think of stakeholders in terms of both top-down and bottom-up. It’s obviously important to have executives on board with the technology solution you’ve identified to solve your healthcare business’s most pressing problems. It’s just as important, however, to have input from the people who will be engaging with the technology on a day-to-day basis.
Have a Clear Definition of Value.
A whopping sixty-eight percent of all healthcare technology implementations fail, in part due to unclear goals. Tech providers must know what your goals are if they are to play a key role in helping to achieve them. Part of this is communicating what you see as the tech solution’s greatest points of value. That could be cost savings, efficiencies, visibility/access to data, accountability or something else entirely. Make sure the tech provider also understands who stands to receive the most benefit from that value. Are your executives and board directors going to benefit to the largest degree from the solution? Or is it your directors of nursing? Quality leads? Ward nurses? Owners or operators? Maybe it’s regulators or examiners who will find the highest value from the technology’s data or reporting (thus dramatically improving the work lives of internal audit, governance, risk or compliance teams).
Agree on a Project Management (PM) Framework.
The typical 5-part PM framework is typical for a reason. It has proven effective for many technology implementations. However, it may not be how your healthcare business works best. Have a meeting of the minds on project management, including what you see as the key deliverables from the provider and how you will chart progress through the achievement of different milestones along a realistic timeline. Regardless of the PM framework selected, communication throughout remains a key to success.
Prioritize Data Interoperability.
You’d be hard pressed to have a conversation about technology without the word “data.” A multitude of different data sets exists within a healthcare setting. When those sets come together, amazing, growth-driving insight comes into view. Anytime you are layering in a new technology solution, it’s critical to get the new provider in touch with your existing partners. Opening lines of communication between vendors and systems ensures effective and efficient data sharing to get the best possible business intelligence outputs.
While there are certainly some firms that continue to drop software at the hospital door and wish users “good luck,” the best firms have left that model in the past. Today’s technology firms, like ViClarity, are more “partner” than “vendor.” They take an empathetic, bespoke approach. After all, what’s the use of technology if it adds more pain than it solves? Best practices for achieving this level of collaboration continue to evolve. Look for a partner that understands this and is willing to work with you in the manner best suited to your healthcare organisation’s processes, culture and strategic objectives.