Technology is changing the way we think and talk about healthcare like never before. It's time we decided what success should look like.
I may be one of the toughest critics of many aspects of digital health but my work is dedicated to ensuring that clinicians and patients are maximising the benefits they get from technology. Whether it's an EHR system or wearables, the full spectrum of healthcare IT shares similar challenges. Here are my five key success factors:
1. Clinical Engagement
You won't be surprised to see this at the top of the list coming from me given my background. Suffice to say that clinicians are often the end users of digital health platforms and adoption can start and end in their hands. I spend a lot of time working with clinicians on major IT initiatives and being engaged from day one makes a mission-defining difference. Their feedback is invaluable and their ability to champion a solution across a provider network cannot be overlooked.
2. Patient Engagement
There's a lot of talk about patient-centric care and engagement out there. However, there are not enough scaled examples using technology systems, and patient engagement often becomes a mere marketing buzzword. Patients and clinicians working together form the two pillars of benefits realisation when it comes to technology. Enhancing patients' abilities to be proactive in their care will redefine how we deliver medical services and enhance the clinician-patient relationship in novel and meaningful ways. This is again critical for technology adoption.
3. Product Localisation
Vendors too often take a cookie cutter approach to delivering their products into different international healthcare markets. That's simply not good enough. Clinicians and patients are not homogenous communities. As a vendor, it is of the utmost importance to invest time learning about end users at a system-by-system level, preferably through frontline observations and stakeholders engagements. This way a solution can be localised and better benefit its users.
4. Tangible Benefits
In too many cases, claims are made about product benefits which simply are not tangible. This can be especially dangerous when done through hypothetical financial and workflow modelling. Providers want to see intangible benefits related to user experience and service quality which leads to tangible cash-releasing benefits. Such an approach demonstrates the holistic thought process of a solution provider.
A great digital health or health IT vendor knows that selling a product and moving on isn't good enough. Healthcare is a challenging and volatile environment. Clinicians and patients as end users need support when it comes to the introduction of new technologies. They want technology to not distract and disrupt, but to enhance. The best solution providers know how to tailor their support systems both clinically and technically and to measure their benefits.
I believe that healthcare IT solutions delivered with these points in mind and at scale will create a sustainability and satisfaction for clinicians and patients that many never thought possible. Let's get on with it.
The nuviun blog is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues in global digital health. The views are solely those of the author.