How social services can improve patient experience

To create physician buy-in for different technology and applications, it's important for hospitals and health systems to train and educate clinicians, according to Irene Rand, director of IT at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Dallas.

Ms. Rand has been the head of IT at the center for more than six years. She has an extensive career in information technology and information systems.

Below, Ms. Rand discusses how she promotes health IT and what she hopes to leave behind in 2019.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How do you get the rest of the team into an innovative mindset/on board with rapid-fire digital transformation? 

Irene Rand: Focus on future meetings and looking at where we need to be for programs we are doing. 

Q: What are the biggest obstacles you face when deploying a new tech/innovation initiative? 

IR: User acceptance and adoption, as it's hard to break habits. To overcome these problems, it's important to train and hold group meetings. During these "Town Hall" type meetings with the CEO we discuss concepts and explain reasons for different innovations.

Q: What are you doing at your hospital to improve the patient experience and outcomes? 

IR: We offer social services, including social workers, dieticians, navigators, integrative medicine, acupuncture, massage, prehab rehab/PT, psychotherapy, palliative medicine, pain management and patient events like dinners, classes and events.

Q: If you could solve one health IT challenge/headache overnight, what would it be and why? 

IR: PHI security. No matter what, that is a moving target. Making sure staff does the right thing, protecting data from outside entities and maintaining access are all a constant task.

Q: What is one health IT fad you want to leave behind in 2019? 

IR: I cannot really think of any fads. I would like ACOs to go away and just work off of the same rules and measures as CMS. That would make life easier.

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