A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the annual HIMSS conference (aka HIMSS13) – the yearly mega-gathering of everyone involved or interested in Healthcare Information Technology (#HealthIT). I’m still buzzing from HIMSS13 so I thought it would be nice to discuss the challenges and benefits of Healthcare IT on this weeks’ HCLDR chat.
Technology, as we all know, can sometimes be a double-edged sword. On one side it can be a tremendous enabler – helping us achieve things that were not possible before (example: allowing physicians to instantly retrieve x-ray images of their patients whether at a hospital or at home). However, technology can be quite disruptive to organizations, almost never lives up to the hype and can be extremely expensive. Is any wonder that many people and many organizations fail in their adoption and implementation of new technologies?
[Disclosure: The writer of this post, Colin Hung (that’s me), works for a HealthIT vendor, Nightingale Informatix, which provides physicians with a cloud-based Electronic Health Records (EHR)]
In recent weeks, there have been a number of articles written about the frustration organizations are feeling about EHR implementations. Fierce Healthcare recently highlighted the results of a University of Michigan study on physicians who have implemented an EHR – and how many of them have not seen a return on their investment. John Lynn (who was a busy man at HIMSS13), wrote a great piece about the challenge of creating a user-friendly EHR.
Both articles mention how implementation failures can be attributed to the products/technology. However, both also hint that failures are also caused by the organizations themselves. Implementing new technology means that people within organizations have to change their behavior. This is quite challenging. People fear change and also fear technology – yet many project teams do not put effort into managing this aspect of IT implementations. Michael Krigsman wrote an excellent article that encapsulates this notion and there is an excellent Q&A post on the CIO Forum relating to this topic.
My favourite article about managing change comes from Harvard Business Review “The Hard Side of Change Management”. It was written back in 2005 but is just as relevant today as it was back then.
At this week’s #hcldr tweetchat we will be talking about how to deal with the fear of change relating to HealthIT implementations:
- T1: What is the most important ingredient to a successful #HealthIT implementation? Exec buy-in? Good Tech? Good people?
- T2: People fear change & technology. How can this fear be effectively overcome?
- T3: What advice would you give to someone leading a large-scale #HealthIT project (or any type of large project) in healthcare?
Please join us Tuesday March 19th at 8:30pm Eastern for our #hcldr tweetchat. Everyone is welcome!
See you Tuesday!