Healthcare Technology and the Fear of Change: A Provider's Guide

Change is never easy, especially in the world of home health. Teams rely on routines and standard healthcare technology to serve patients, comply with regulations, and keep the agency running.

It can be difficult to think of disrupting these smooth routines and introducing something new — but when it comes to great tech, the results are worth the trouble. 

New healthcare technology can make your operations so much easier, you'll wish you'd switched sooner.

Use these six steps to minimize your team's anxiety and facilitate a smooth transition.

1. Define Your Goals

Behavior and habit changes are difficult without a motivating goal. Instead of looking at all the reasons a new healthcare technology might disrupt agency operations, consider how it could help you reach your goals.

Connect those goals to your organizational mission and values. Research shows that identity-linked goals lead to more lasting and effective behavior change. Remind yourself what your organization aims to achieve, and look at how this technology can move you toward that goal.

Consider your financial performance as well. Revenue is essential to any healthy organization, and a tool that makes you more efficient will also improve your bottom line.

Look at your key performance indicators (KPIs) and identify those you'd like to improve. Next, set target metrics you'd like to achieve with new technology and how quickly you think you could realistically get there.

2. Build Relationships With Vendors

When patients are nervous about an upcoming procedure, providers can help by explaining what will happen. Vendors can do the same when provider organizations are uncertain about adopting new technology.

Healthcare technology vendors are committed to client success. If you don't succeed with a  new tool — if the tool doesn't significantly improve your operations and help you provide top-notch care — the vendor doesn't succeed.

Before saying yes or no to a new tool, talk to the customer success reps you'd work with. Bring up any hesitations you'd have, including worries about changing systems. Then, find out what they do to ease the transition and support your agency.

3. Plan Each Step

Preparation and planning ahead can also reduce anxious feelings. Before you dismiss a technology upgrade as too overwhelming, take some time to lay out the steps. Ask for guidance and clarification from your technology vendor.

It also helps to speak with other agencies that have undergone similar transitions. Even if the technology is different, they can help you create a transition process. Because they understand the daily demands on your team's time, their help will feel relevant and realistic.

4. Discuss Benefits

Change management is one of many agencies' biggest worries when implementing new technology. Buy-in is critical, and agency teams already have full plates. So, it's important to communicate how the change will make team members' lives easier. 

Before you discuss logistics and implementation, paint a picture of what the new technology will do — and what manual tasks it would take over. For example, when introducing a document management solution, focus on workflow automation and less — or no — manual data entry.

5. Get Staff Input

A PwC report shows that 90% of executives feel their organization considers staff needs when implementing new technology — yet only 53% of employees agree. 

According to PwC data, 34% of the workforce identifies improved efficiency and teamwork as motivators for new technology. If you tell them how a tool will help them achieve their goals, they'll be excited to jump on board.

Another 37% prioritize career advancement. These employees want to know how new technology will help them become future-proof in their industry. The remaining 29% prefer routines and need to know what about their work will stay the same and how the team will benefit.

Once you know your employees' motivation and values, you can encourage them to take the lead in implementation.

6. Start Small

Technology onboarding can feel overwhelming in a busy workplace. Remind yourself that you don't have to do it all at once. Think of it like a dimmer instead of an on-off light switch.

For example, if you run a multioffice organization, introduce the new technology at one to three locations. Notice what goes smoothly and where the staff needs extra support. 

Expand to more locations when you're ready. Then, you'll have the experience to guide the introduction, and the transition will feel more manageable.

Partnering With an Experienced Provider

New healthcare technology shouldn't feel like a load on your shoulders. It's there to make your life easier, not harder.

The first step is to partner with an organization that will help you through the process. If you're considering an automation solution, choose a provider that's committed to your success. Your team will feel more at ease knowing experts are on their side.

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