With the world preparing to enter the next phase, the post-COVID era, there is unprecedented pressure on the healthcare industry is expected to be agile, flexible, and highly responsive to a precarious, unforeseen crisis.
New data-reliant technologies help expedite the process and aid health professionals considerably. It helps them make sound decisions, especially in critical, time-sensitive situations.
Fortunately, we live in a time where Electronic Health Records (EHR) are at the heart of the healthcare system which should be good news to the industry. However, new technologies and applications are unable to exchange data efficiently because of strict regulations. Interoperability is crucial to make the most of the technologies that are used and to make the healthcare ecosystem smart, agile, and efficient.
Many industries have adopted technologies to accelerate their growth. While healthcare has witnessed a great deal of technological advancement, it has never truly embraced it the way some other industries have.
There could be many reasons for this. One perceived notion is that a small error while using the system could put thousands of lives in danger. Does this mean that the healthcare industry from stop reaping the benefits that technology can offer? Or are there ways to ensure reliability in healthcare technology?
Before getting all these questions answered, let’s take a closer look at how to implement new technology in healthcare and dive deep into the adoption challenges.
Implementing new technology in healthcare
There are numerous departments in healthcare and the usage of technology varies accordingly. The implementation of technology differs across nursing units, organizations, and practice settings in healthcare.
Innovations in Healthcare have improved the usage of devices, medicines, procedures, and systems designed to solve health problems and improve quality of life. Implementing new technology in the field of healthcare can be difficult. There are many factors to consider, such as whether the technology is safe, how it will be used, and how it will impact patients and healthcare providers.
Many hospitals are slow to adopt new technology, due to concerns about cost and lack of familiarity with the technology. Understand the reason for poor technology adoption and overcome those challenges.
Lack of technology adoption in healthcare
The lack of technology adoption prevents the advancement of healthcare. For example, many doctors and practitioners are held to the standards of HIPAA and PIPEDA to protect the health information of clients.
If these professionals do not utilize technologies that are compliant with security and privacy standards to protect health information, they risk compromising client information which can result in large penalties. This is just one example of the importance of what the lack of technology in healthcare can do.
Even though technology adoption has become convenient over time. There are certain barriers to this endeavor. Some of them are:
- Several healthcare providers are unsure about how to use the technology or how it will impact their workflow.
- The comfort and ease of use of current systems make users reluctant to change to new technology.
- The perception that new technology is costly, complicated, and unclear of how much value it could bring.
- Hospitals and clinics may be skeptical about the safety or efficacy of new technologies.
Technology adoption is a slow process but one that is worth it in the long run. The industry is now starting to embrace the change as it becomes aware of the benefits of developments such as telemedicine and remote consultation.
Your company should be able to integrate technology without having to entirely overhaul its procedures. It's also crucial to make sure the technology can scale to meet your specific requirements.
With the advent of remote work, having the right workflow tools and productivity software in place may help your company stay connected.
There are also other factors why technology isn’t fully adopted. This includes employee resistance, lack of tech training, and poor process compliance. Let's dive into these challenges that impede the adoption of technologies in the healthcare sector.
1. Serious Digital Risk
The prevailing model of health care delivery is highly complex. It comprises layers of processes, a network of patients and partners, insurance reimbursement models, delivery models, and regulatory requirements.
These complexities when combined with technological advancements expose the industry to severe digital risks.
The following 3 key risks are associated with Digital Transformation in the healthcare sector, according to this RSA Digital risk study.
i. Cyberattack Risks:
Cyberattacks have been a major concern ever since the rapid growth of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) that comprises medical devices and applications. The IoMT ecosystem can have devices that lack standard security which makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Another reason for risks related to cyberattacks is the rise in quantity and availability of healthcare data. The healthcare data has seen a spike of 878% in the last 2 years.
ii. Dynamic Workforce Risk:
Today, healthcare workforce is empowered with devices, gadgets, and data to better treat their patients. This and the pandemic has caused a shift from the traditional model to a more dynamic one where healthcare workers can treat patients remotely. But this also exposes organizations to faulty workforce authentication and authorization. It also becomes increasingly difficult to monitor the activities of employees.
iii. Data Privacy Risk:
Since Patient Health Information, PHI, can be collected via various methods, it is unclear whose responsibility it is to protect the data and information of patients. It is, however, fair to say that ultimately this responsibility should fall on the organization. Failing to do so could result in financial losses and in some cases, could compromise the health of the patient.
To counter all this, you need a solution that ensures business continuity and provides the organization with an integrated approach to handle digital risks. A solution for user access control, rapid detection and response, and integrated risk management. With such a tool, the healthcare sector can thrive and continuously adapt to transformational change with ease without worrying about the security risk.
2. Poor Training and Onboarding
In healthcare, we see a lot of applications that come into play. Whether they are equipment providers, medicine manufacturers, or hospitals, they all use numerous applications on a daily basis to ensure the smooth flow of activities.
In this case, let's take an example of a hospital that treats 1000 patients a day. They cannot afford to make their workforce spend a majority of their time getting trained on administrative tasks that the applications demand.
A hospital has a lot of functions that need to be in accordance with the hospital and federal protocol. To comply with them, they use applications for staff management, ward management, OT management, Asset & Inventory management, HR & payroll management, online appointment portal, patient and insurance management.
Related: Change Management in healthcare
Hospitals either use these applications separately and integrate them or they use Complex-ERP solutions that help them do all these functionalities.
In any case, performing these many actions and making sense of all the data to ensure that everything goes on like clockwork is difficult. This certainly cannot be achieved using classroom training programs.
Another challenge is that with time, regulations change and by the time you train employees on the existing ones, a new norm or regulations is designed which the organizations have to adapt to, again. This makes it difficult for organizations as they have to train and onboard employees from scratch using traditional means. This is not a feasible plan.
According to MIT Sloan, 73% of professionals believe that Digital Transformation will be imperative to their organization in the next 2 years but 63% of professionals feel that digital adoption is a slow process.
This clearly shows that there are severe gaps in training and onboarding strategies that organizations have to overcome.
Traditional application and technology training in healthcare is not focused on efficiently using the software but rather on the process. New staff will be overwhelmed if they are expected to follow these processes, just after few sessions of training.
A new-age solution like a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) can emulate a real-world environment and guide the workforce to use the application efficiently. It helps employees complete tasks in an intuitive way. This means that they have understood the software and are leveraging it to the fullest extent.
A Digital Adoption Platform like Apty can guide your employees step-by-step through the application to complete tasks. It can also guide them from one application to another seamlessly, enhancing the engagement rate. It provides custom onboarding flows with a set of walkthroughs that new employees have to complete to get familiar with the applications that they will have to use to go about their jobs.
It further houses all relevant training content in the form of PDFs, PPTs, walkthroughs, knowledge base links, and videos. This instantly accessible content guides employees in the right direction if they are ever lost and eventually makes them a power user.
3. Strict Compliance Regulations and Data Integrity
Any organization related to healthcare has to follow compliance rules, regulations, and laws associated with the industry.
Just like any other industry, healthcare adopts new technology but all these stringent laws and regulations hinder the technology and application adoption process. This results in hospitals and other healthcare organizations avoiding the use of advanced tech.
These regulations are there for a reason as faulty data entry results in erroneous data which can be disastrous for the organization, be it from an administrative standpoint or even medically.
86% of the mistakes made in healthcare are administrative and these errors are ranked as the third-highest cause of death (after heart disease and cancer).
The employees have to accurately enter data in the application they use and follow the process correctly to avoid any errors. The integrity of data is of paramount importance as some errors can put people’s lives in danger.
The ideal solution to overcome this is to use a Digital Adoption Platform that can help you follow data standards. It helps employees adhere to rules and regulations pertaining to the applications that they use.
Digital Adoption Platforms like Apty, include a data validation tool that helps employees maintain conventions while creating a file or entering details in a field. If data is entered in the wrong format, it warns them and ensures that it is entered in the correct format.
With Apty, you can also create goals that your employees have to complete to understand how to carry out tasks within the application.
You can track the progress of your users and analyze where they are struggling. Based on this, you can then either tweak the process to suit the employees or improve the training content to guide them better.
Leverage a DAP to overcome technology adoption challenges in healthcare
The healthcare industry is under pressure to digitize more of its operations in order to improve patient care and reduce costs. However, this transition is often met with resistance from employees who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with new technology. To overcome resistance and ensure a smooth transition, a Digital Adoption Platform is needed.
A DAP is software that helps organizations of all sizes manage and monitor the rollout of new technology within their workforce. It will help healthcare workers and patients navigate the applications they use without compromising on the compliance aspect.
By understanding how people interact with applications, DAPs help identifies areas of improvement to increase user productivity and satisfaction. DAPs like Apty can help overcome this obstacle by providing insights into user behavior that can be used to improve the design of applications and make the transition to digital healthcare smoother for everyone involved.
Apty DAP can help you to counter digital fatigue as it helps with on-screen guidance and automation so that they can focus on doing the actual job without worrying about repetitive tasks. Apty can help in guiding the patients and also helps you in identifying the pain points of the patients while using the applications and improving the workflows to get the required data.
Technology adoption in healthcare can be challenging but having the right tools by your side can help. Adopt these essential applications with Apty to make your patients’ and employees’ lives easier.