How to engage the health system workforce with emerging technologies: 5 strategies

Large-scale technology initiatives are a huge challenge for health system leaders today, as they require coordination across multiple locations and working with diverse populations.

A few examples of the technology initiatives that could improve the patient experience include mobile stroke units, telemedicine and physical kiosks in Walmart stores. Other organizations are deploying real time tracking technologies to understand processes and identify improvements. They discussed key strategies for deploying innovation and technology across a large system.

At the Becker's 5th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference in Chicago on Oct. 12, Katherine Williams, EdD, consultant for NewYork-Presbyterian and the health system's HR technology metrics analyst James Lee gave a presentation titled "Engaging the Workforce with Emerging Technologies."

Here are five key takeaways:

1. The health system workforce is diverse, so develop a technology steering committee that reflects that. The committee includes members from human resources, IT and communications as well as clinicians to look at how the workplace can foster technology and people working side by side. There will be other groups within the organization looking at these initiatives from the technology or financial sides, but it's also important to understand the impact of technology on the workforce.

2. Be sure to include everyone in the conversation about how the health system is making technology part of its mission. The goal is to take recommendations from senior leaders as well as frontline staff to clearly understand how to best understand processes, what's working and what needs to be fixed.

3. Create guiding principles for technology use that send key messages about technology implementation. For example, one of the principles might be that the system won't track you unless there is a reason to track you in the hospital to improve processes. This shows employees how the value proposition goes beyond just a dollar sign to efficiency and really looking at the impact on the patient experience.

4. To learn more about the organization, devise a survey for directors across the enterprise to measure how they are spending their time as well as experience with change management. Gauge the excitement level on moving forward with technology across the organization. In some cases, you may find areas where team members need to re-focus on data processing or collection and see if there are new tools that can assist them, or processes to automate.

5. Measure the success of new tools to show the positive impact. If possible, measure the financial return on investment. Make sure the directors and employees have the resources they need to do their jobs, and track whether employee engagement and retention grows as a result.

Don't miss the Becker's 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy event in Chicago, May 19-21, 2020. Click here to learn more and register.

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