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HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION

A lot of research has been done on how to successfully implement new technology within a healthcare organisation. Organisations like the Center for Health Systems Research and Analysis (CHSRA) regularly carry out studies on organisations that have implemented computer-based health support systems.

Studying of both failed and successful technology implementations tends to reveal a lot of information that can be used by other healthcare organisations when implementing their own technological solutions. Some of the factors that can be used when evaluating such implementations include:

  1. Organisational Factors: These include factors such as whether the technology is in line with the mission of the organisation, and what is likely to be the effect on the organizational long-term goals. An important factor to bear in mind is that organisations where there is a high level of inter-departmental cooperation are more likely to succeed with new technology implementation.


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  2. Leadership Factors: Top management support is essential for the success of the implementation of new technology. It is also important the leadership should be without internal wrangling that hinders the rollout of project. They should understand the technology and its likely impact on their organisation but also be innovative enough to meet the challenges that would be brought about and carefully manage trade-offs between the changes brought about by the introduction of the technology.

  3. End-User Factors: Factors here include end users understanding the need for the introduction of the new the technology. The technology at the time of implementation is not out of date and it is easy to use. At the University of Virginia, when a clinical information system was introduced in 1998, physicians downed tools for two days to protest the difficulty of using the system. Another important factor to consider is whether adequate technical support is available for the end users.

  4. Promotional Factors: Local champions actively and enthusiastically promoting the new technology within the organisation and to patients, building support and overcoming resistance throughout the organisation would probably be needed to ensure the implementation success. Regular updates sent to key figures within the organisation would also be a plus in ensuring implementation success.

  5. Technical Factors: It is important that the newly implemented technology slots in comfortably with procedures that are already in place and already existing technologies. The technology should be easy to implement and vendor support should be readily available. Another factor to be considered would how easy it is to train staff to act in implementation and support roles.

Technology implementation is hard work and there are many factors to be considered when evaluating the success of the technological solution. The most important ones to remember would that there is a good understanding of the technology and its benefits by the top management and that there is end-users acceptance and involvement. It is also advisable to give a reasonable amount of time for the end users to get accustomed to the technology and its promotion has done throughout the organisation, especially in areas in where they it is going to be used on a regular basis.


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QUICK LINKS
International Medical Informatics Association
American Medical Informatics Association
UK Health Informatics Society
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society


Knowledge Center
Biomedical Informatics
Bioinformatics
Health Informatics
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Software
Hardware
Networks
Hospital Information Systems


Healthcare Technologies Topics
The Data Protection Act 1998
The European Union Directive on Data Protection
HIPAA
Healthcare Technology Acquisition
Healthcare Technology Implementation
Enabling Healthcare Technologies
Emerging Healthcare Technologies


Last Updated: 10 August 2006.



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