Lessons from a Gardener…
Every Saturday morning growing up in a sleepy Long Island suburb, I was shuttled off to my grandfather’s house. While I loved spending time with him, he had other ideas in mind :-) He loved gardening, but as he got on in years it became more and more difficult for him to keep his garden up to snuff. Cheap labor was at hand … a grandson who adored him. I actually enjoyed helping him and learned a ton along the way. Jump forward 30 years. I am now the gardener… but my kids want no part of it :-) So, I have this thing for certain wildflowers and lots of hills and rocks to cover. I also have deer, part shade, gophers and sandy soil. Going to local nurseries only offered me your average, everyday wildflowers. I wanted a more varied appearance to my hills and different specimens. I went online… and was blown away by the sheer number of plants available on some sites. Analysis paralysis set in and I could not make up my mind what to plant where. A few years ago I stumbled onto a phenomenal site which offered me the opportunity to set my parameters (sun, deer, drought resistance, etc), set the size of the lot to be planted and push a button. Boom. A list of plants and a set of plans for planting them appropriately was immediately available. Purchase done… plants in , garden looks great.
Many physicians are not fearful of technology. Many in fact are quite tech savvy. They are early adopters of smart phones, tablets and other cool gizmos — except when it comes to implementing technology in their office. Many do not understand how the technology would complement their workflows or compensate for the work arounds their employees utilize on a daily basis. Many physicians may not be able to determine whether or not their co-pays have been collected in a timely matter… or how a technology that assures they are collected scales in efficiency to the point that an ROI is achieved in year 1 or 2. Dragon, standard dictation, templates, touch screens, scribes, etc… Custom pdf’s for consents, pre-op information, post-operative instructions and guidance. Where do I find all these things, how do I incorporate them into my workflow and what plugs into where to make sure it all works and that everyone plays nicely in the sandbox together. Are you going to hire a consultant for 35k to tell you what you probably already know? Are you going to pay that same consultant 50k to implement the plan because you can’t figure it out for yourself or task your staff efficiently and effectively? I hope not.
The healthcare technology industry insiders need to take a deep look into the pain point in physicians offices, push forward technologies that ease the pain — and come up with a templated system that walks the physician through a needs analysis, the cost structure, implementation or execution strategies, spells out step by step how their systems will work together and ultimately what the benefit will be in terms of being able to see more new patients, have a better engaged, happier, more efficient staff and a more profitable, leaner practice. The potential ROI follows next and hopefully the story is complete. Right now the *picture* isn’t complete. Many physicians need guidance and a clearer understanding of exactly why they need technology, how to implement it, and when they should expect to see a return. IF the message is not absolutely crystal clear... the physician will dis-engage and stay with paper and fax machines. These same industry leaders also need to learn how to play well with others and align their strategies in an anti-competitive and comfortable manner. Together they can map the pain points and post strategies for implementation that will guide physicians looking for simple, elegant, structured, lean technological solutions… without the typical pain and suffering that accompanies a technology roll-out. Impossible you say… I doubt it. Not if they want their technologies embraced by more than 5% of the US physician population.
I called the manager of the nursery site I mentioned before. They told me that they saw a 35% + jump in purchases when they initiated their custom pre-planned garden plans… and the avg number of plants ordered per person also jumped significantly. Health care execs… take notice.
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