New healthcare IT implementations can sometimes miss opportunities to be fully welcomed and appreciated by end-users – Healthcare IT their acceptance is essential to the overall success of the project. To deliver a useful and satisfying solution it’s important to be aware of the following six hurdles from project green-light through post-adoption. Clear each of them as you move along, and your end-users will thank you and likely retain your business:
Hurdle #1: Not fully understanding workflows
To the extent possible, every new technology solution should accommodate the ways in which its users are accustomed to working – not the other way around. Before examining solution options, map out end-user workflows, including clinical and documentation. As you begin assessing options, consider the degree to which each potential solution supports the organization’s workflows. Will information be delivered to the right person, as well as at the optimal time to make the information truly actionable?
#2: Not having a flexible system that supports multiple user type needs
Just as new technologies need to accommodate existing workflows, they also need to support the varying needs of their target users. In mapping out workflows, be certain to account for the unique needs of all user groups, from physicians to nurses to physician assistants. You’ll want to succeed with everyone who uses the new system. Will information be delivered according to each caregiver’s role and responsibilities?
#3: Not identifying the right champions within the organization
A job title reflects a person’s designated functions, but a title doesn’t account for all influencers of workplace perception. Every healthcare organization has clinicians and administrators whose opinions are valued. Identify the best candidates among them who will be touched in any way by the new solution and include in your selection committee. You may find that you too value their opinions.
#4: Not including all stakeholders and getting their buy-in
Nobody likes having technological change thrust on them. That’s why it’s important not to unveil a new solution as a done deal – time to sign up for training. While you won’t want to complicate the selection process, give all stakeholders – leadership, quality, each end-user type etc. – a preview of the top choice, and openly welcome their feedback. Positive responses at this stage will translate to acceptance later. If the feedback is not so positive, maybe the selection committee has more work to do.
#5: Not responding to post-implementation feedback immediately or having a slow turnaround time
Medical professionals view IT as a support function, and rightly so. That’s why Issues like requests not followed up or long wait times make solution acceptance more difficult. These stumbling blocks can also lead end-users to think poorly of not just the solution, but of IT itself. No one wants that in the workplace.
#6: Not designing a support service tailored to match end-user needs
This is the proactive version of clearing hurdle #5. Beyond responding to end-users in a timely manner, ask them what you can do to help make them successful with the new solution – and then deliver. Do this consistently, and you’ll move from “support” to “partner.”