7 Rules Hospitals Should Follow When Adopting New Tech


Hospitals’ operational margins have shrunk dramatically this year. Now more than ever, hospitals need to ensure they’re getting the most out of their investments in technology.

Clear governance structures, effective communication and detailed training are among the factors hospitals need in order to get a significant return on investment for new technology deployments, according to a report released by KLAS on Wednesday.

For the report, KLAS detailed recommendations for hospitals based on hundreds of surveys and qualitative interviews it has conducted with hospital executives over the past few years. Below are seven key tips hospital leaders should consider in order to make their technology adoption process go smoothly.

  1. Planning should begin during the sales process. Getting a head start on planning is important, so hospitals should set clear expectations and realistic timelines when they are having initial conversations with vendors. They must also ensure that vendors are being upfront about what will be required from the hospital during the implementation process. Both parties need to be on the same page about timelines, the number of integrations needed and any data conversion that may be necessary. 
  2. Risk-based contracting might be a good option. When hospitals run into budget issues during the technology implementation process, it’s often because of project delays and the additional time and resources needed to move onward. Hospitals may want to consider risk-based contracts, and they should expect that delays may occur. 
  3. Clearly define governance structures. When it comes time to deploy a new technology, hospitals can ensure the process goes smoothly by organizing a leadership team for the project. Members of the team should have clear roles and responsibilities. 
  4. Don’t forget about change management. New technology projects are often measured by outcomes like cost savings or increased efficiency. To produce optimal outcomes, vendors and consultants need the right expertise to make effective change management suggestions. Executives within the hospital should lead the execution of those recommendations. 
  5. Always communicate. Both the vendor and the hospital should have a clear understanding of who is doing what and why. In order to achieve this understanding, hospitals need their project leaders to create a communication plan and provide regular updates. 
  6. Prioritize stakeholder alignment. There must be a strong degree of collaboration between the hospital and vendor (and services firm, if applicable). Leaders of all of these organizations must be transparent with each other and provide all relevant information to the group. 
  7. Training is a necessary investment. Without the proper training, end users usually don’t feel comfortable adopting a new technology or won’t be satisfied with it. Early on in the tech adoption process, hospitals should designate who is responsible for creating and delivering training materials. Trainers must be familiar with the workflows used by the people to whom they’re providing guidance.

Photo: elenabs, Getty Images

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