While healthcare providers’ primary responsibility is to their patients, of course, maintaining a healthy business is still of considerable importance. As technology has become increasingly complex, healthcare leaders have faced new challenges in ensuring stability and growth for their organizations. According to a recent Forbes article by healthcare reporter Claire Rychlewski, poor implementation and management of technology is hurting the valuation of many healthcare providers and in some cases preventing mergers and acquisitions from taking place. According to Rychlewski, “as technology becomes more integral to healthcare and valuations continue to climb, the margin for error is razor-thin when it comes to assessing the health of a target company’s technology, dealmakers say.”
So, what can providers do to realize the benefits of innovative technology without putting their companies in a risky position? At HealthTECH Resources, Inc. we have worked with many of the nation’s leading providers over the past 20 years, and have found a consistent thread in organizations that are able to make technology work for them: investing in process, training, and accuracy.
Certainly, juggling patient care, compliance, revenue growth, and cost management is a difficult task for healthcare providers. But when organizations are thoughtful about the adoption of technology from a human standpoint, not just from a systems standpoint, it becomes far easier to achieve comprehension for end users, patient data security, and integration between otherwise disparate systems.
Modern healthcare providers should involve subject matter experts at all stages of their technology lifecycle, from system selection to implementation, to integration and long-term maintenance. As recent examples like those mentioned in Rychlewski’s article have shown, it is far more cost effective to get the technology right at the outset that it is to have to deal with regulatory issues down the line. At the same time, providers need to develop comprehensive plans, training programs for end-users, and cyber security protocol to ensure that the entire care continuum is optimized for all participants, including the broader business.
As a new technology, such as artificial intelligence, wearable devices, and even the blockchain for security, continue to infiltrate the healthcare space, it is easy to see why providers (and their patients) will be eager to adopt them and recognize their benefits. But in order to improve not just patient outcomes but also the health of the business, organizational leaders must take the appropriate steps to plan, involve highly-skilled technical talent at all stages, and ensure that everyone is equipped to utilize each technology to its full potential.