Healthcare News & Insights

Make your hospital’s next technology upgrade more successful

Whether it’s implementing a new electronic health records (EHR) system or upgrading computer equipment, most hospitals have experienced some kind of technology-related transition in recent years. With changes to federal health initiatives that encourage the meaningful use of EHRs and other health IT, these transitions will continue as hospitals work to keep up with new requirements. 

DoctorComputerBefore starting your next technology-related initiative, it’s important to know exactly what makes technology upgrades successful while being the least disruptive to your hospital’s daily operations.

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) polled healthcare IT pros to ask them about the best ways to implement technology upgrades and the biggest hurdles that need to be overcome to ensure their success. It summarized the results in a press release.

Best & worst practices

The No. 1 way to make new technology implementations successful is creating workflows in advance that improve efficiency and technology adoption, per the survey. And that’s followed closely by having strong leaders who support new healthcare technology initiatives.

Several issues can derail the successful implementation of new technology. According to the professionals surveyed by ASQ, some of the top challenges include:

  • resistance to change from doctors and staff due to the perceived impact on time/workflow and unwillingness to learn new skills (70%)
  • high costs of implementing IT infrastructure and services, and unproven return on investment (ROI) (64%), and
  • problems with complex new devices, poor interfaces between multiple technologies and the haphazard introduction of new devices that can cause patient errors (61%).

Smoother transition

Besides having a culture where top executives make seamless technology transitions a priority, getting input from all staff who will be affected by the changes can help reduce the negative impact of any problems that arise.

If staff members take a hands-on role in the implementation process, they’ll be able to root out issues so they can be corrected before the problems have a negative effect on their daily workflow.

Other ways to ease the transition to new technology, as suggested by ASQ healthcare pros, include:

  • making software easy to navigate (with detailed organization of medical records to make them easy to find, and simple ways for staff to determine the status of medical records), and
  • creating accompanying apps that make life easier for healthcare pros (e.g., medication calculators).

Worthwhile investments

Along with getting hospital staff on board with the technology initiative, it’s important for the project to have a strong ROI. According to the ASQ survey, the most worthwhile upgrades for healthcare organizations are:

  • remote patient monitoring to reduce the need for office visits (69%)
  • patient engagement platforms to encourage patients to manage their own health (68%), and
  • EHRs that eliminate time-consuming tasks (68%).

Making sure these elements are included in your hospital’s next IT initiative can make your hospital’s technology more centered on patients’ needs while ensuring that new technology is user-friendly and beneficial for clinical staff.

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