How to Engage Physicians in Innovative Health Care Efforts

In my experience, most users have a disdain for technology.

Decision making is hugely complex. Despite the well-intentioned tone of the write-up, it is usually the “IT-cell” that determines the roll-out. Numerous proprietary and legacy systems refuse to play ball with the newer ones. Integration (or attempts to do) drives up the costs involved.

The author also ignores the learning curve. Often in the “research”, it is what a monkey does, and other monkeys see. For example, virtual-reality promises to impact the pain score (I don’t know-how, and the research appears dodgy). I tried reaching out to a prominent firm in this space (Samsung) and got no replies to my emails. In part, I am keen to see how the research methodologies have panned out and what is the potential to impact patients’ outcomes.

As such, we are going through an “opioid crises” of our own making and denying the pain killers to the most vulnerable population. We are not even sticking to the basics of WHO step ladder treatment schedules (for example). How is VR going to help?

AMA research shows that physicians want to be involved in decisions around new technology solutions. That includes design, development, and the provider organizations’ selection and implementation. Digital health solutions designed and developed with physician input early and often can avoid missteps driven by a lack of understanding of how the clinical environment works. Physicians also know their patients and can help startups understand how their products may impact patient care and engagement.

The last bit seems incredulous. Most users don’t understand technology. Seriously.

Health systems also can benefit from engaging their physicians early and often in the process of implementing a new tool or innovative solution. Decisions made at the top and pushed down to physicians and care teams often encounter resistance and a lack of enthusiasm and support. Having the right people at the table upfront can help organizations anticipate such barriers, facilitate buy-in, and minimize disruption to workflows.

These are forward-looking statements. Resistance is indeed encountered because of “less-enthusiastic” colleagues, but it has to do a lot with individual politics and how well the team dynamics flow.

This is an interesting bit from the linked article:

The Triple Aim-enhancing patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs-is widely accepted as a compass to optimize health system performance. Yet physicians and other members of the health care workforce report widespread burnout and dissatisfaction. Burnout is associated with lower patient satisfaction, reduced health outcomes, and it may increase costs. Burnout thus imperils the Triple Aim. This article recommends that the Triple Aim be expanded to a Quadruple Aim, adding the goal of improving the work life of health care providers, including clinicians and staff.

Technology will only add to the potential of a learning curve, and unless there’s a degree of “self-motivation” involved, it won’t move the needle sufficiently.

via How to Engage Physicians in Innovative Health Care Efforts