Not using technology in healthcare
This post was co-authored by Declan Hadley
Will Florence Nightingale Accepted virtual care? The answer is probably yes, as she is a technology innovator in every sense – promoting cleanliness in hospitals, promoting healthy eating to improve healing, and using data to reduce infection rate. Today, however, in healthcare, we see a slower rate of technology adoption than in other industries, despite a rich history of medical innovation.first
Gap assessment can be challenging, and many healthcare organizations are tempted to look at peers for comparison. However, it is virtual care providers and technology companies that they should be against themselves.2 The factors influencing the adoption of technology in healthcare are multifaceted. So, how can healthcare organizations get up to speed to meet patient expectations?
In general, the reasons for slow digital adoption fall into three categories – strategy, workforce, and risk.
Any organization embarking on their digital journey needs a plan. Ideally, that plan is co-created with the broader workforce and stakeholders to create a sense of ownership or shared purpose.3 Successful digital transformation is elusive in all industries, not just healthcare. In fact, a study via BCG shows that only 30% of digital adoption projects achieve target results. The absence of an enterprise’s digital transformation strategy embedded in its overall business goals leads to competitive priorities, unclear measures of success, and difficulty securing funding. This branching approach leaves employees disillusioned and projects stalled.
Around the world, healthcare providers are struggling to recruit and retain healthcare professionals.4 The successful organizations will be those that think creatively about the work environment, including how technology is used.5 In any clinical group, there will be people who think differently about technology. A small minority will embrace change and evangelism, others will be skeptical, and a few will mourn the loss of the current way of working.
To effectively implement and sustain digital transformation, healthcare organizations need to ensure their workforce feels confident and competent in using digital solutions. They need to engage at all levels, finding their digital pioneers to build the case for change. They have to make sure everyone is supported throughout the process, provide adequate training and most importantly, take the time to adapt to any new way of working.
Healthcare providers that scale successfully will be the ones who see digital adoption as an organization-wide program of change, led from the top.6
Expanding your digital service offering will create new opportunities but also bring new risks. Increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks, IT staff shortages, and lack of visibility into how technology is used, all represent tangible threats to organizations. These factors have led to a situation where healthcare providers can only adopt new technology through trials, with a few successfully transitioning to scale.7 Many also underestimate the true costs involved, not taking into account the investments required for workforce training, workflow redesign, legacy system integration, and IT infrastructure. resilient, thus leading to unnecessary financial risk.
The healthcare system is well versed in change, but accelerating digital adoption on a large scale has proven elusive, both within organizations and at the national level.8 However, all agree that digital transformation is crucial to stay competitive.
To scale efficiently and at speed, healthcare leaders must start with a clear business strategy that includes individual and measurable outcomes that are agreed upon. created with relevant stakeholders. Once identified, they must issue a roadmap that focuses broadly on people, processes, and technology to ensure they are ready for change. Systems leaders need to ensure their employees feel confident and competent in using digital solutions. In doing so, they need to ensure the underlying infrastructure is secure, integrated, and ready to meet new demands.
- Applying digital in healthcare
- Chartis-Insights 2022 Health System Survey
- Creating Tomorrow, Today – Seven Simple Rules for Leaders
- Healthcare Workforce (ai.int)
- US Nursing Workforce in 2021 | McKinsey
- Digital Readiness Education Program | UK health education
- 4 Facts that show the future of healthcare technology
- National program for IT in the NHS: updates on delivery of detailed care records systems – National Audit Office (NAO) Report