Healthcare News & Insights

Improve your hospital’s health IT adoption

Healthcare leaders who are finding it hard to adopt and integrate new technology need to examine different strategies to manage the task. 

464404711 (1)As the industry continues to evolve, facilities will need to find effective ways to implement new technology to meet patient needs. However, many hospitals are having trouble adopting new health IT into their operations.

Technical difficulties

So why are hospitals struggling with this task?

Dr. Robert Pearl recently spoke at the Stanford Medicine X conference on the subject of IT adoption. He highlighted some barriers preventing effective integration in his presentation:

  • Unfocused tech goals. Hospitals should avoid implementing technology without first considering what problem it solves for the facility and end-users. An example might be some of the wearable health devices that recently came on the market. Though helpful in some ways, the technology doesn’t always provide a definite benefit to patient’s health or care management. Instead, Dr. Pearl believes tech innovation should begin with the end in mind, focusing on a particular goal or problem to solve.
  • Growing cost. The high expense of adopting new health IT is also a significant problem for hospitals. Payors are often reluctant to approve and pay for treatments involving new technology, even if it may be clinically appropriate or could possibly reduce costs. Dr. Pearl believes that current fee-for-service payment isn’t a financial model conducive to adopting new technology. Unfortunately, new research suggests new value-based reimbursement may also put up barriers for adopting new technology.
  • Trouble using new technology. Dr. Pearl uses electronic health records (EHRs) as an example. Though using them can help prevent medical errors and allows easier access to patients’ health data, for some physicians, using the EHR takes more time than traditional paper records.

Easing adoption

Understanding some of these barriers to adoption can help leaders find ways around them in their own operations.

For example, if your facility’s carriers require evidence of a technology value before approving its use, collaborate with vendors to see what value-testing they’ve done. It may also be beneficial to see if there are any opportunities for your facility to participate in any further testing.

One way to address issues with physicians’ technology competencies would be to create learning events for physicians where they learn more about using new technology efficiently and effectively. It may be best to include demonstrations of how to use the technology and how certain technologies can engage patients meaningfully in their care management.

 

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