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Industry Insight

Is Collaboration Part of Your Culture?

Positive organizational cultures can increase the adoption rates of new communications technologies

Clinical and technical leaders within healthcare organizations understand that implementing new forms of clinical technology doesn’t always happen quickly or easily. Clinical communication and collaboration platforms (CC&C) can fall into this category, but many organizations, with the help of vendor partners, have had successful implementations leading to high adoption of new technology across the entire enterprise. What are the key organizational philosophies that may need to be examined prior to the implementation of a CC&C platform? Culture, technology and process. In the first of a series of three Insights, we’ll cover organizational culture.

The most important (and perhaps most difficult) organizational philosophy that may need to be examined to drive adoption of any new clinical technology is an organization’s culture. Culture is defined as a shared set of values and beliefs that typically is established by the system’s leadership team before trickling down through the rest of the organization. Organizational culture establishes how we collectively behave, sets the foundation for our belief systems, and may even help define why we show up to work every day. Implementation, and more importantly end-user adoption of a CC&C platform, benefits from an organizational culture that does the following:

Promotes clinical communication and collaboration across all the entire enterprise, rather than allowing it to exist only within specific roles, departments or facilities. For example:

  • Does your system employ a specific communication tool for just nurses?
  • Are your Emergency Departments using a different technology than General Surgery?
  • Is this practice standardized across all facilities in your organization, or does it vary?
  • A culture with behavioral norms predicated on using one CC&C platform as the “source of truth” will see a decrease in delays to care driven by more effective clinical communication and collaboration.

Places a heavy emphasis on making use of data to challenge the status quo in effort to improve operational, and most importantly, clinical effectiveness. For example:

  • Does your system have a quality initiative in place, tied to CMS metrics or otherwise?
  • Are these quality initiatives driven or owned by someone on your executive team? Perhaps a Chief Quality Officer?
  • Do you have goals of being named “Most Wired” or achieving HiMSS EMRAM Level 7?
  • Organizations with cultures that empower team members to work proactively to eliminate waste see increased employee morale driven by increased engagement and ultimately, better patient outcomes.

Most healthcare organizations will rely on vendor partners to help analyze their current situation (culture or otherwise), identify the changes that need to be made to drive implementation and adoption, and then execute a plan to implement the changes. To close, here are a few characteristics to look for in a vendor who can act as a change agent:

  • Engages heavily up front with a cross-functional team consisting of nurse, physician and technical leadership from the health system partner.
  • Takes a long-term strategic approach to needs analysis and implementation and develops a post-go-live strategy to grow end user adoption.
  • Vendor’s product and services are proven through successful implementations across a variety of health system sizes and types. Provides references for verification.

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