Technology is created and designed to make life simpler. For physicians, mobile technology offers the ability to review data more immediately and conveniently. It also helps provide the patient with better, more holistic care. All sounds great, right?
Implementing any change in an organization is tricky. It requires effort from all parties involved to transform the “new thing” into “the norm.” Physicians need to see the value of the solution and be encouraged to use it regularly. The vendor needs to tweak its solutions to meet the needs and expectations of the customer. And the customer needs to adopt new workflows to support the technology. It’s a cycle of trust, encouragement and adjustment.
We have incorporated mobility into our cardiology service as an early adopter. Having seen the powerful impact of mobility in labor and delivery, we were eager to recreate that success. But the obstetrics department is a different environment from that of cardiologists. In obstetrics, patients’ conditions may be constantly changing as both the mother and baby are monitored throughout labor. Obstetricians regularly need to check in on patients no matter where they are. In cardiology, patients’ ECGs do not provide ongoing monitoring, and are more akin to a detailed cardiac snapshot. Mobile access to ECG data is viewed as most beneficial when an emergency, like a heart attack, arises and decisions need to be made quickly. So to help cardiologists find additional value in mobility, we’ve also mobilized patient monitoring to provide near real-time visuals of patients’ conditions and helps clinicians have a big picture view.
Overcoming challenges requires a strong partnership and an understanding that transformative technology is an ongoing process. After implementing mobility in our cardiac service line, we needed to work closely with the vendor to dedicate the time and effort needed to educate our physicians about mobility, including benefits and requirements to help reframe its value and offer guidance for improved workflow. In addition, we teamed up for an intensive process to monitor the interface carefully and address our specific needs. Beyond that, the vendor incorporated our physician input across the data flow that technologists wouldn’t have recognized as an issue, like scaling graphs to minute levels that offer physicians critical detail.
Successful technology enables better care at better costs, but it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together – vendors and providers. By working together and allowing for a dialogue that helps make good products better, we can create the tools to transform the industry.