For health systems looking ahead to 2021, new medical technology introduction may be both a necessity due to COVID-19 and an opportunity for innovation. However, implementing, adopting, and tracking new technology in a virtual environment requires an active approach where feedback and communication are key. When considering what new medical technology looks like for your system, consider these 5 strategies for creating a successful introduction virtually.

Consider Running a Pilot Program

Aligning the processes, education, and priorities of various stakeholders and departments surrounding the integration of a new medical technology can be a daunting task. Particularly when implementing a cross-functional technology, there are typically pain points along the way that are challenging to solve once presented at a high level. Depending on the nature of the technology, running a pilot program virtually can be an excellent and efficient step in gaining valuable insights regarding implementation, communication, and needed resources while keeping initial investment relatively low. Moreover, there is never a better time to establish a feedback loop and determine what is working and what needs improvement before implementing a large-scale, resource-intensive initiative.   

Plan a Virtual Lunch & Learn

Successful medical technology utilization rests on creating buy-in with stakeholders. Even if a workflow is remote, a virtual lunch & learn can be a great strategy to present personal, value-based information to the right audience in a novel way that doesn’t resemble every other virtual meeting on the calendar. Use this time to communicate the practicality of the technology, how it will make their lives easier, and what steps they should take next, whether that’s addressing top hospital goals or targeting specific initiatives such as process driven value analysis or hospital supply chain costs. For a cross-functional technology integration, it may be valuable to create separate lunch & learns for different departments so material can be targeted to specific needs and resonate with their experience. For ideal results, a pre-implementation lunch & learn has the potential to expedite education followed by a mid-implementation session, which can increase confidence and utilization by featuring a champion user’s experience and setting a benchmark for what success using the technology looks like. 

Create Supply Chain Virtual Office Hours

When tracking new medical technology, particularly surrounding supply chain efforts, transparency surrounding processes, motivations, and key stakeholders can prove to be a challenge for operations. Moreover, when sourcing and implementing new technology, systems are guaranteed to build a queue of questions. For those seeking ways to track and increase transparency surrounding new medical technology, leading supply chain virtual office hours can be a great way to establish rapport, increase clarity, and achieve alignment ranging from technological specificites to the broader healthcare supply chain system and how a hospital supply chain works. Leveraging this strategy facilitates an optimal avenue for various stakeholders to seek clarity and improve performance while providing exposure to a notoriously complex system. This step can be powerful in tracking adoption and reducing dissonance cross-functionally. 

Consider Utilization as a Measure

Utilization can be an excellent metric to guide strategy when tracking new medical technology. Many technologies offer activity dashboards for admins to review levels of activity across departments or individual users. In a world of virtual technology introduction and stimulus burnout, engagement is both a paramount need and challenge. One integral part of tracking new medical technology entails tracking its education, which is a fundamental step in a virtual workflow and learning environment. If utilization is low, education may be a lever for change. Some questions to ask internally include: Have each stakeholders’ roles been contextualized? Have different learning styles been engaged? Has education been value-based and targeted to the personal need? Has it been practical? Has feedback been incorporated? By posing these questions, an internal strategy to track and improve utilization can be expedited whether stakeholders are physicians in value analysis or administrators in hospital supply chain management.

Establish a Feedback Loop  

Communicating regularly with users is a crucial asset in tracking new medical technology and creating a feedback loop that lasts post-implementation. Whether it’s product or service based, maintaining alignment is key. Communication tools such as video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams or instant messaging tools such as Slack reduce the probability of an unsuccessful integration by prompting intentional feedback. Making communication accessible and frequent is essential for the implementation team, users, and even vendors, who typically have valuable best practices to share. Particularly in a virtual landscape, ease of access to communication, answers, and feedback reduces the burden of implementation and encourages buy-in from the beginning. For initiators, it is crucial to leverage communication in a way that starts and ends with the “why,” prioritizes logistics, and addresses conflicting priorities. Creating opportunities to prioritize the feedback loop may be amplified by naming a representative; when implementing new technology virtually, a breakdown in communication is not an exclusive effect but is also frequently accompanied by a breakdown in identifying responsibility. By lucidly establishing and communicating a representative to guide logistics and engage stakeholders, friction is reduced and monitoring progress becomes less burdensome.

 

From streamlining communication among key stakeholders to facilitating best practices when it comes to the selection of new medical technology, GreenLight Medical goes beyond a value analysis software to help health systems and their stakeholders leverage meaningful data to make better decisions when it comes to medical products. To request more info and learn about about how we have partnered with health systems across the country, click here.