Post by Patricia Anderson
From social media to wearable technologies, from bioprinting to the quantified self movement, emerging technologies have the potential to change lives and clinical practice. At the same time, change isn’t always welcomed, and it is often difficult to determine which proposed changes bear the most value and the least risk. Even for those high value innovations, there have always been challenges with disseminating new ideas, testing and validating them, and promoting adoption of validated innovations.
These are some of the issues that have driven and continue to drive both the evolution of translational science and newer research methodologies such as systematic reviews and comparative effectiveness reviews.
Medical librarians have been intimately involved in aspects of evidence-based clinical practice, and the systematic review and comparative effectiveness review methodologies. They are also deeply engaged in providing information, expertise, and support to clinicians, patients, and administrators. They also support dissemination of innovation throughout an enterprise by acting as conduits, cheerleaders, or gatekeepers for new information, policies, and technologies.. But could they be doing more to help support proactive strategic decisionmaking with respect to emerging technologies?
Electronic health records (EHRs) have been available for decades, and yet hospitals, doctors, and other caregivers have been slow to adopt them. This is true even though 74% of U.S. physician EHR adopters in 2011 said that using their systems enhanced overall patient care, and 85% reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their systems (Jamoom, Beatty, Bercovitz, Woodwell, Palso, & Rechtsteiner, 2012).
With concerns about lags in adoption for proven technologies such as EHR which have been shown to have value for decades, how will the practice of healthcare accommodate the ever increasing pace of innovation in health IT? How will emerging technologies be identified and integrated into practice? Increasingly, patients are taking the initiative for solving personal healthcare challenges with areas such as the quantified self movement, the maker movement, personal genomics, and personalized medicine.
The Medical Library Association has initiated a large systematic review project to assess the level of evidence available to support the profession and practice of medical librarianship in several very important questions. Team #6 has been assigned to explore this topic: “The explosion of information, expanding of technology (especially mobile technology), and complexity of healthcare environment present medical librarians and medical libraries opportunities and challenges. To live up with the opportunities and challenges, what kinds of skill sets or information structure do medical librarians or medical libraries are required to have or acquire so as to be strong partners or contributors of continuing effectiveness to the changing environment?”
We would deeply value the thoughts and insights of healthcare professionals and leaders in helping to define these questions.
- T1: What emerging technologies do you find most important and relevant in healthcare?
- T2: What are appropriate roles for medical libraries and librarians with respect to emerging technologies?
- T3: What issues concern you most about adoption of emerging technologies? What barriers to adoption are you aware of, or solutions for overcoming barriers to adoption?
Here is our current draft of emerging technologies that have been identified as being of interest.
Mindmeister: MLA Emerging Technologies: http://www.mindmeister.com/275111357/mla-emerging-technologies
American Hospital Association. Adopting Technological Innovation in Hospitals: Who Pays and Who Benefits? (2006) http://www.aha.org/content/00-10/061031-adoptinghit.pdf
Anderson P. Maker Movement Meets Healthcare (2013) http://etechlib.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/maker-movement-meets-healthcare/
Cain M, Mittman R. Diffusion of Innovation in Healthcare. (2002) http://www.chcf.org/~/media/MEDIA%20LIBRARY%20Files/PDF/D/PDF%20DiffusionofInnovation.pdf
Coye MJ, Aubry WM, Yu W. The “Tipping Point” and Health Care Innovations: Advancing the Adoption of Beneficial Technologies (2003) http://www.nihcm.org/pdf/Coye.pdf
McCann, Erin. Docs still lag with health IT adoption, Deloitte study sheds light on health IT to-do list (May 2013). http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/docs-still-lag-health-it-adoption
Physician adoption of health information technology: Implications for medical practice leaders and business partners (2013) http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/Health%20Care%20Provider/us_dchs_2013PhysicianSurveyHIT_051313%20(2).pdf
Plsek P. Complexity and the Adoption of Innovation in Health Care. (2003) http://www.nihcm.org/pdf/Plsek.pdf
Porter, Molly. Adoption of Electronic Health Records in the United States (February 2013). http://xnet.kp.org/kpinternational/docs/Adoption%20of%20Electronic%20Health%20Records%20in%20the%20United%20States.pdf
Will It Work Here? A Decisionmaker’s Guide to Adopting Innovations. (AHRQ Publication No. 08-0051 (2008) http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov/guide/InnovationAdoptionGuide.pdf