My primary care physician had not yet implemented ePrescribing or begun utilizing an electronic health record the previous time I saw him for a checkup (EHR). According to my understanding, the medical organization to which he belongs had not yet rolled out these capabilities to him but was going to do so. Hopefully, by the time I meet him again this summer, he will be linked to the electronic health record that the organization is implementing.
Although he may be dissatisfied with having to adjust to this new style of working, I will be pleased since it adds another degree of security for me as a patient. Miscommunication between my doctor and pharmacist, for example, will be considerably decreased.
My expertise as a quality and productivity specialist tells me that his practice group will reap several advantages. My doctor may not be spending significantly less time managing prescriptions, as the American Medical Association demonstrated in a white paper, but his office staff will. Overall, the office’s productivity and safety will improve significantly
What industries will grow in the future?
Following an examination of this example of technology adoption at my physician’s office group, I recognize several challenges that the group faces, many of which are common to
any enterprise adopting new technology, including not only healthcare providers but also small businesses and nonprofit organizations:
- ● Will new technologies boost productivity?
- ● Is there going to be a favorable return on investment?
- ● Will the new technologies make patients safer?
- ● If the technology is adopted, how should it be deployed or rolled out?
These difficulties and questions should not be confronted by a single individual. Rather, the task should be assumed by a team led by good leadership. To ensure success, the team should use a structured problem-solving method such as Plan-Do-Check-Act.
One of the first things the team should do is figure out why the technology should be implemented. That is, it should explicitly describe the adoption’s aims. Perhaps the technology is required by an accrediting or regulatory agency. This is the situation with ePrescribing since CMS has ordered its implementation by the beginning of this year or faces penalties.
Another example is my car mechanic, Arie Nol Auto Center; his firm is embracing new technical equipment so that he can fix modern vehicles with numerous complicated computer-based electrical components, allowing him to stay competitive.
If there is no compelling reason to do so, the technology should not be implemented. Toyota Motor Systems takes this method, maximizing the performance of any production processes that involve human labor before introducing any robotic technology on the floor. Using this method, it has maintained a high level of quality when compared to other automakers. Consumer Reports ranked Toyota top in six or ten vehicle categories this year.
Introducing new technology to your business
If a team chooses to adopt a piece of technology or software, it should create a clear adoption strategy. The identification of success metrics is one of the plan’s components. In the first instance, I defined two metrics: would the technology boost productivity and patient safety?
The AMA responded that it would, but each site should go beyond the study studies and assess its own implementation success. Another metric that a team may wish to investigate is patient or customer satisfaction. Physicians that deploy an EHR should monitor patient satisfaction.
Following that, the team should develop a clear strategy for integrating the technology. The strategy should involve gathering baseline data for the success metrics that have been selected, a thorough list of actions in the implementation, and the selection of an implementation leader.
The phases of implementation for bigger organizations or medical groups should concentrate on initially having a restricted spread of the technology to a group that is ready to test it; this way, if the rollout does not meet the objectives that it has set, the failure will be far less expensive. Consider the expense to a corporation if it does not experiment first and the seller of the technology misleads the group about the technology’s capabilities!
Throughout the technology’s installation, the leader should gather data on the metrics selected by the team. In this manner, improvements to the implementation may be made as needed, or the project can be canceled if it seems that it will fail.
If the installation goes well, the team should celebrate its accomplishment before planning ways to make greater use of the technology as it is being rolled out to the rest of the company or site. Most new technology is complicated, and it takes time to completely incorporate its features.
In reality, a company or healthcare provider may never employ all of a product’s possibilities. For example, I bought an iPad2 many months ago and am currently learning about some of its commercial potentials. I want to study a lot more to boost my personal productivity.