6 tips to overcome challenges of implementing new technology

6 tips to overcome challenges of implementing new technology

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In the ever-evolving landscape of home-based care, technology has been a pivotal force reshaping how services are delivered, managed and experienced.

From electronic health records (EHRs) to patient engagement platforms, adopting innovative healthcare technologies has not only transformed the way providers operate but has also significantly improved patient outcomes and access to care.

But embracing these advancements can be challenging as providers are wary of disrupting established workflows, encountering interoperability issues and navigating complex regulations. Concerns about data security and privacy breaches add to the reluctance to embrace innovation.

But recent advancements make implementing new technology far less cumbersome, allowing your organization to use the latest technology to your advantage. Let’s take a look at some common challenges home-based care providers face when adopting technology and how to overcome them.

1. Carefully evaluate your needs

A foundational step in the technology evaluation process is to ensure the software truly solves your challenges and meets your needs. Watch out for solutions that may solve a problem in one area, but create friction in another, introducing a new set of challenges. I’ve worked on many implementation projects and in my experience, taking time to understand the root causes of the challenges your staff faces is the real key. This will help you to better evaluate the technology you need to address them.

In addition, prioritizing data security and privacy should be high on your list because safeguarding patient data against security breaches and unauthorized access is non-negotiable. Make sure the software is designed to be HIPAA-secure and is SOC 2 Type II-compliant.

2. Prioritize the user experience

Your staff is too busy to have major disruptions to their daily routines and workflows, causing your organization more harm than good. Consider software that prioritizes user experience, aiming to streamline workflows and minimize disruptions to clinical operations. Evaluative the software’s customizable features, dashboards and reporting capabilities, and integration with existing systems to make it easier for staff to incorporate new technology into their daily routines without significant retraining or downtime.

3. Plan the work, work the plan

Once you’ve chosen software that meets your needs and offers a great user experience, it’s time to plan for implementation. Choose a group of stakeholders to develop a project scope, set goals and create milestones to stay on track. This group should represent a wide range of departments and roles, such as front-line clinical workers, middle and upper management, and operational staff. Make sure everyone working on the project has the time and resources needed to complete their tasks in alignment with your established timeline.

4. Choose a champion

Your project champion should be a strong advocate for your new technology who will work with staff at all levels and clearly convey the benefits they will experience, whether that’s an enhanced user experience for the clinical team or more visibility and reporting functionality for management. Your champion will be your team’s cheerleader. This person does not necessarily need to be a super user of the software or know how all features and functions work. Rather, they need to understand the product’s value and have a desire to advance their organization through an innovative mindset.

5. Keep the training manageable

Keep the implementation project manageable by breaking it into steps using a phased approach. With this method, new software users will learn one section or feature at a time so they aren’t over-burdened with learning a new tool alongside managing their daily responsibilities. I also recommend having multiple training sessions and releases instead of one major switch. In addition to easing anxiety over the learning curve associated with new technology, it’s also a way to help users see the value of the new system, which can build buy-in and acceptance for the change.

6. Pace yourself

Scope creep can happen when a project isn’t well defined or planned. But I’ve also encountered another kind of scope creep that can happen during a phased implementation. Sometimes, when users see the benefits of the new tool, they’re eager to adopt additional features as quickly as possible so they see even more improvements. Although this mindset may be exactly the type of culture you’re trying to build in your organization, additions to the original project plan can cause delays, confusion and frustration. It’s best practice to complete your initial implementation plan with high adoption and success rates before adding other requests. This will ensure your staff is adequately trained and improvements to your initial challenges will be made while you work on the next phase.

A guide for your implementation journey

Implementing new software doesn’t have to be a painful experience. With a well-chosen solution, clear identification of user needs, and thorough planning, you can make the process smooth while delivering the new tools and technology your business needs to stay successful.

When you work with an experienced vendor like CitusHealth, you’ll have a team of experts to guide you through the process at every step, as well as ongoing support so you can get the most from your software investment.

Amanda Hannan
Amanda Hannan
Customer Success Manager, CitusHealth

An accomplished and versatile customer-focused leader with a proven track record in building outstanding customer relationships, Amanda builds productive teams and ensures customers exceed their ROI. She’s a Six Sigma Green Belt and subject matter expert in IV workflow management systems implementation, EHR integrations, HL7 interfaces, automated dispensing cabinets, IV pumps, and various SaaS products including analytics-focused reporting tools.

With CitusHealth, Amanda is passionate about optimizing and building processes for customers. Prior to joining the CitusHealth team, she worked with all levels of health system management including IT, pharmacy, nursing, physicians, finance, and supply chain with companies such as Cardinal Health, BD (previously CareFusion) and CorsortiEX.