For hospitals and health care providers, an integral component of attracting and retaining consumers is an ongoing and increasing investment in technology. In fact, technology is dramatically redefining the way we manage health care. In an “app” driven world, consumers have come to expect customer-friendly technology to help mediate their interaction with health care providers.
Also, technology and the use of analytics, in particular, have the potential to dramatically improve every aspect of care coordination from the moment a patient is admitted to the hospital until they are discharged. If we do our job right, harnessing technology will not only improve the efficiency and service quality across the hospital, it will support the work of our team members, and contribute to a more positive patient experience overall.
It is, however, easy to get ahead of ourselves when it comes to implementing new technology, particularly, from a systems perspective. There are times when we get so laser-focused on improving efficiency and placating those squeaky wheels as they advocate for the need to fix some ongoing issue ASAP, that we don’t spend enough time considering the patient. If the implementation is not resulting in a positive experience for the user—in this case the patient—then it will not be successful.
How then can we ensure a positive implementation for all those involved and result in our desired outcome? Collaboration is key. You need to include a broad spectrum of team members when designing implementation and roll out. Bring doctors, nurses, and other team members involved in the patient experience—from transport service specialists to technicians and care coordinators—into the room. Those with boots on the ground are often those who provide the most targeted insight. You will also want to be transparent about your goals for the technology and its implementation so that your team has a better handle on what you are collectively trying to accomplish. Then you can ask for help and creative solutions.
As it is often not the technology itself, but the implementation that results in a sticky wicket. You should consider a wide range of implementation options as you design your roll out. Ask yourself – what if we sequenced things in this order instead of this one? Will this process result in a more positive end-user experience or would another approach work better?
Finally, make time for some beta testing. Enlist the help of patients or cast some folks in the roles of patients. Spend time ascertaining what works, what doesn’t, what they would change etc. Sometimes you can’t really know how things will go until you see it from another perspective. This is why the 360 degree approach is critical to success.
At the end of the day, what counts is that implementation leads to success on all fronts and makes a positive impact on all those it is designed to help. That’s the point. Technological innovation and implementation should POSITIVELY disrupt what we do.