Operating margins of hospitals have shrunk dramatically this year. Now more than ever, hospitals need to ensure they are getting the most out of their technology investments.
Clear governance structures, effective communication and extensive training are among the factors hospitals need to get a significant return on investment for implementing new technologies, according to a report freed from CLASS on Wednesday.
For the report, KLAS provides detailed recommendations for hospitals based on hundreds of surveys and qualitative interviews it has conducted with hospital leaders over the past several years. Below are seven key tips hospital leaders should consider to make their technology adoption process a smooth one.
- Planning should start during the sales process. Getting a head start on planning is important, so hospitals should set clear expectations and realistic timelines when conducting initial conversations with providers. They should also ensure that providers are upfront about what will be required of the hospital during the implementation process. Both parties should be on the same page regarding timelines, the number of integrations required, and any data conversion that may be required.
- Risk-based contracting can be a good option. When hospitals run into budget issues during the technology implementation process, it’s often due to project delays and additional time and resources needed to move forward. Hospitals may want to consider risk-based contracts and should expect that delays may occur.
- Clearly define governance structures. When it’s time to implement new technology, hospitals can ensure the process runs smoothly by organizing a project management team. Team members should have clear roles and responsibilities.
- Don’t forget about change management. New technology projects are often measured by outcomes such as cost savings or increased efficiency. To achieve optimal results, suppliers and consultants need the right expertise to make effective change management proposals. Hospital leaders should guide the implementation of these recommendations.
- Always communicate. Both the vendor and the hospital should have a clear understanding of who is doing what and why. To achieve this understanding, hospitals need their project managers to create a communication plan and provide regular updates.
- Prioritize stakeholder alignment. There should be a strong degree of collaboration between the hospital and the provider (and the service company, if applicable). The leaders of all these organizations must be transparent with each other and provide all necessary information to the group.
- Training is a necessary investment. Without proper training, end users are usually not comfortable adopting new technology or will not be satisfied with it. Early in the technology adoption process, hospitals must determine who is responsible for creating and delivering training materials. Trainers should be familiar with the work processes used by the people they are mentoring.
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