4 Steps to Successful Healthcare Technology Adoption
Any complex change or comprehensive effort requires a systematic approach, not an episodic one. In healthcare, this remains especially true as organizations increasingly look to optimize new technology and transform delivery of services. As innovations continue to proliferate and technology investment continues to accelerate, organizations must increasingly embrace four fundamental factors that ensure they stay focused on the factors that ensure technology continues to produce long-term value, and not harm, to their customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
This is the central message in Beyond Implementation: A Prescription for the Adoption of Healthcare Technology. Dr. Heather Haugen, co-author of the book, calls on healthcare organizations to invest in leadership engagement, targeted education, performance metrics, and sustainment to optimize the value of their IT investments. Dr. Haugen argues that these four drivers are necessary to adopt new technology and achieve better financial and clinical outcomes.
So, what do each of these drivers entail?
1. Leadership Engagement: Leaders must drive the overall effort by communicating the need to adopt new technology, generating awareness of its benefits, facilitating excitement, and establishing accountability systems.
2. Targeted Simulation-Based Education: End-users need education that makes them proficient in using new technology according to their unique role and workflow in the organization. According to Dr. Haugen, the most efficient and effective education provides hands-on instruction in a simulated environment that mimics the new technology. She also recommends that it be internet-based, providing users with repeatable, consistent, accessible, and available content they can complete whenever and wherever, ensuring minimal impact on their professional responsibilities.
3. Performance Metrics: Healthcare organizations must also validate the proficiency of their workforce and understand who requires intervention. This ensures that users remain prepared to use the new technology effectively and efficiently without negatively affecting measurable outcomes.
4. Sustainment: Technology adoption is a long-term and ongoing process that requires constant attention. As needs and characteristics change over time, organizations must sustain their commitment to adoption by focusing on these four crucial drivers.
As new technology continues to emerge and evolve in the healthcare industry, the formula for adopting new innovations is still the same. Yet its importance may only grow, as technology increasingly becomes more complex and the lifecycle between adopting new innovations continues to diminish.