How Hemphill County Hospital is using telemedicine & other technology to improve patient experience: Q&A with IT Director Brian Goza

Brian Goza, director of IT at Canadian, Texas-based Hemphill County Hospital, discusses the hospital's process when it comes to gaining physician buy-in on new technology and how new systems benefit both medical staff and patients.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: In the past 12 months, how have you adapted to new patient experience expectations in the age of consumerism?

Brian Goza: Our hospital has adopted more telemedicine to prevent unnecessary follow-up visits to larger healthcare facilities in urban communities. We are also working with Apple to integrate our patient portal into Apple Health. We are excited that patients will be able to experience a new way to view their health information from iPhones, and eventually, Android devices.

Q: Can you share your best advice for motivating your teams?

BG: My best advice for motivating hospital teams is to treat everyone with fairness, dignity and respect. I have found that giving all team members input and explaining the reasons why they should 'buy-in,' or participate in a project consists of detailing the long-term outcomes and goals. This generally makes a project implementation run smoothly.

Q: How does your organization gain physician buy-in when it is implementing a new technology or solution?

BG: Hemphill County Hospital typically approaches the chief of staff to discuss new technology. The other physicians will usually follow his recommendations. A key component to our clinical technology infrastructure as it relates to adoption from both nurses and providers was adding a nurse informaticist to the technology team. She can communicate, in a clinical way, the reason why a piece of technology will reduce provider or nurse workflow. This allows the medical staff to spend more time treating patients and less time working with technology tools.

Q: What is the No. 1 thing you wish you knew before taking a leadership post at your organization?

BG: I wish I had known the relevance of critical thinking skills where it applies to both technology and psychology. Staff members and co-workers are a large chunk of why a project is a success or failure outside of organizing IT projects and making sure the right people are in the right place at the right time. It takes time to build relationships of trust in an organization, and critical thinking skills make that easier.

To learn more about clinical informatics and health IT, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

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