design, as an approach to problem-solving, revolves around making people —
particularly providers and patients — the priority,” says Marggraff. There is a
long track record in human-centered design analog processes in healthcare. He describes these as 'environments which align with people’s needs rather than require
changes in behaviour’. The same thinking is now entering health IT with
patients and providers seeing benefits in efficiency from information sharing
- Consider if the solution and its team will be a good fit for you and your team. Multiple vendors with similar products can be confusing so make sure you ask for referrals to other customers. The hands-on staff in particular will be able to give you good insights into how well an application works.
- Not everyone is tech minded so ensure that the vendor offers clear and simple product documentation designed for those with less familiarity with IT. There is little more frustrating than trying to solve a problem than by dealing with phone support or a FAQ page that do not help.
- At the same time as following up views from other clients, learn whether the vendor worked closely with them to set clear goals during set up and expansion and if these decisions were supported by implementation managers. Also, can you expect ongoing customer support?
- Be results oriented and examine the efficacy of the proposed solution. How much time and money will be needed to achieve your goals and can the vendor present a logical breakdown of added value based on evidence? Ask about how the products were designed and tested.
Marggraff acknowledges that while IT innovation in healthcare is exciting, the fact is many CITOs, medics and healthcare facilities are lagging in getting it on board in their operations. He cites the following reasons for this phenomenon:
- Steep learning curve;
- Time needed for familiarisation can be off-putting;
- Team not understanding the value of the implementation to their daily working lives;
- Complicated systems.
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