The implementation of innovative digital solutions is at the forefront for most healthcare facilities, as hospitals continue to look for ways to deliver more efficiencies and support their workforce. However, through our own experience in implementing, training and supporting 70+ Australian hospitals with their digital adoption or enhancements, such undertakings can be daunting.
The premise of embracing change is often accompanied by an increase in cognitive load for an already busy, stretched healthcare workforce, making it more difficult for a successful digital adoption and ultimately the realisation of many positive benefits.
So how do you ensure that positive digital innovation is not overshadowed by IT overload? Our experience again has shown the need to offer customised, empathetic and quality support services that tackle technical, social and organisational factors we often see associated with effective health technology adoption.
Consultation to help teams get ready for change
In 1883, a medical journal ominously warned about the dangers of excessive learning that would “exhaust the children’s brains and nervous systems with complex and multiple studies, and ruin their bodies by protracted imprisonment.”
It was books. They were warning about the dangers of books.
In the 1920’s the terrifying technology of the day was the radio, in the 1940’s it was television and today it’s email, social media and AI that will be the end of us.
Technological change has always been concerning so it’s not surprising that’s still the case, in any industry, including the healthcare sector.
Add into that mix, a busy and already overloaded workforce who have to learn new ways of doing things, integrate devices and systems to their daily routines and use the technology the way it is intended to be used to fully realise the benefits.
Taking into account a workforce’s social attitudes, concerns, expectations and involvement from day dot of a new digital innovation is key.
In other words, we need to consult – to fully understand, appreciate and respect the environment, challenges and desired outcomes of the organisation as a whole. An appropriate level of collective planning and risk assessment helps teams and organisations be prepared for a full transition.
Waterfall approach for bridging the technical gap
By taking a logical and sequential, step by step approach to implementing major changes to an IT environment, a lot of fear and adoption concerns can be alleviated very early on.
Olinqua’s technical implementation approach is based on the waterfall methodology – a sequential, linear process of project management.
Careful planning, detailed documentation and consecutive execution are the key characteristics of successful IT change, that ensure every stakeholder feels seen and heard across the entire process.
This is especially true in hospitals in which the life and death of patients and the quality of their medical outcomes are dependent on process and technology sitting behind the scenes to support their dedicated staff on a daily basis.
Successful digital adoption through effective training
Knowledge received from engaging consultation helps to not only inform our implementation but importantly, to develop customised training that ensures successful integration of the new technology with existing work practices.
If knowledge is power, training is strength, and without it, hospital staff that are already under a constant and heavy cognitive load, won’t be able to fully integrate technology into their day-to-day tasks (ultimately making their life easier!).
It’s also the reason why training services should never be “off-the shelf” or a “cut and paste” job.
At Olinqua, our Training Team takes the time to understand the minute details of the training requirements and how it will play out in the realities of a busy hospital environment, to create a bespoke, best practice training program.
By ensuring that support is continued long after major technology upgrades take place, hospital staff can feel confident that as part of the change process they’re being continually supported both in usability and software relevance.
Olinqua’s engineering, product, design and clinical teams are always working to enhance the digital solution we offer, in accordance with industry standards and best practices.
In addition, our technology is upgraded every 6 weeks and security patched constantly to make sure that our customers are continually at the forefront of the latest technology available.
Making change comfortable
Those books that were set to damage the brains and nervous systems of children in 1883 are now considered the pinnacle of education.
So too is the transformation through technology in the hospital and healthcare settings, that deliver care to our communities.
With the right training, support and consultancy-led engagement – we have found that change brought upon by the next-generation digital health solutions can be successfully adopted and embraced by the staff.