How to Adopt Digital Healthcare Tools
Implementing a new technology, software or mobile app into a healthcare environment can have challenges. Telemedicine is one digital healthcare tool that expanded dramatically this past year, but some practices may hesitate to embrace this new treatment model.
Remote clinical imaging systems have become essential tools for healthcare, especially wound care physicians. That’s why CarePICS created a change management primer to help you select and implement the right technology solution.
Barriers to Digital Healthcare Tool Execution
Why are so many attempts to implement digital change so frustrating? According to MITSloan Management Review, a survey of executives and managers in a wide range of industries says the pace of technology change in their organizations is too slow, mostly due to a lack of urgency.
The problem can be twofold in healthcare — a lack of understanding the technology itself and a staff’s ability to adopt. Many physicians experience these barriers to implementation:
- Lack of ownership, planning and investment
- Incomplete interdepartmental communication
- IT issues and user error
- Change fatigue brought on by a rapid pace or inconsistencies
5 Tips for Successful Technology Adoption
“An unfortunate myth is that doctors hate change,” says Dr. George Adams, Chief Medical Officer of CarePICS. “The truth is that they just want what’s best for their patients. Variations and inconsistencies might lead to patient harm.”
1. Determine the technology’s purpose and application
You want to avoid as much upheaval as possible. A new technology needs to seamlessly work within your team’s workflows.
Stakeholders and end users need to determine who will be using these digital tools and in what manner. “Avoid redundancies,” says Dr. Adams. “Trim the fat of any outdated practices and systems and establish what tasks, information and documentation benefit from the solution. The goal is to gain immediate benefits from streamlined and simplified processes.”
2. Find technology made by healthcare experts, for healthcare experts
You need sustainable technologies that are speedily implemented and easy to adopt. Healthcare technology must also be designed with security, privacy and the latest regulations in mind.
Seek out technology that has been made with insight from clinicians who have real-world experience and knowledge.
You also want to form a relationship with the technology vendor for after the sale is over. Training and IT support will be important for guaranteeing a smooth implementation.
3. Involve stakeholders in the vetting
Hospitals and physicians need staff buy-in if technological adoption is going to work. Include all potential end users on the care team in the initial vetting stages, including:
- Primary Care Physicians (PCPs)
- Nurse practitioners
- Specialists (such as podiatrists and vascular specialists)
This cross-functional group can evaluate degrees of comfort with the functionality, and how the technology can enhance patient care. User group enthusiasm is critical as they will have to utilize the technology or software on a daily basis. “They can also serve as advocates of the solution to other employees,” explains Dr. Adams.
4. Leadership support
Your user group can’t be the only champions of the new technology. You need a product champion – a designated internal leader who guide, mentor and support new users. With top-down support, you can avoid resistance, delays, employee dissatisfaction and, ultimately, loss of return on investment (ROI).
According to Dr. Adams, “Leaders can win hearts and minds by emphasizing how the new technology will have a positive impact on the staff’s workday. State your case clearly and demonstrate potential quick wins. You can also encourage adoption with rewards — but avoid penalties.”
5. Implementation vs. adoption — ensure your team is ready
You’ve made the decision. The system has been installed. You’ve downloaded the software. But while you may have hit your technology goal, implementation is not the same thing as adoption.
Morale is crucial. Everyone who uses the solution needs to be thoroughly trained. IT support should be readily available. And don’t be afraid to monitor and course correct. Feedback is key and involves everyone in the process. You win by making the new technology part of your company culture.
For More Information
“CarePICS understands the necessity of your clinical workflows and offers solutions that can easily standardize or simplify processes,” says Dr. Adams. “We partner with your organization to ensure a seamless integration of our remote clinical imagery system. We’ll train your staff and be there for you before and after you go live.”
Visit our website to find out how easily CarePICS can be integrated into your current workflows to increase efficiency, improve communication and reduce clerical work while treating patients with wounds and vascular disease.
CarePICS® is a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform designed to manage vascular disease and wound care patients. CarePICS enables virtual consults, telehealth visits, clinical image reporting, and automated medical supply ordering.