Don’t let the seven key barriers to change hijack your healthcare digital transformation
All large-scale healthcare technology implementations, from electronic patient record (EPR) systems to laboratory information systems (LIMS), have one thing in common: the need for significant change. All improvement requires change (although not all change results in improvement!). The right technology provides the potential to improve patient outcomes, optimise clinician workflows, and secure cost savings.
However, implementing digital solutions in healthcare is much more an adaptive change rather than a technical one. It’s not simply about buying and installing hardware and software; it requires a cultural and ultimately human change. In the case of large transformation projects, the impact of the shift on those at the very heart of healthcare – the practitioners – is particularly pronounced.
Given this, the cultural and human impact of healthcare transformation must be considered at every turn. That’s why having an awareness of the barriers to change is critical, especially in the complex healthcare space.
According to the Change Management Institute UK: “Change management represents a domain of principles and practices that enable stakeholders of change to adopt the mindsets, behaviours, and capabilities required for that change to deliver full business value. It focuses on people.” In the context of healthcare, that means stakeholders working in partnership to achieve common goals.
Care improvement requires trust and collaboration among doctors, and between doctors and their organisation. Strained or frayed relationships are impediments to moving forward together that need to be, and can be, addressed.
The people element is key to overcoming many of the obstacles that obstruct healthcare change. So, there’s an emphasis here on people rather than computers; on humans, rather than machines.
With over 1 billion health records worldwide using InterSystems technology, and more than four decades of experience helping our customers with change, we have outlined below the seven barriers to digital adoption and associated transformation within healthcare organisations, together with our tips on how best to overcome them.