In an effort to catch up with much of the professional world, the healthcare industry is weaving technology into its processes at a pretty quick rate. Among the latest healthcare IT trends are HIPAA compliant web forms and automation tools that streamline workflows for healthcare workers. Now, facilities can adopt electronic workflows for tasks like registering patients, scheduling appointments, prescribing medications, and processing patient record releases.
Sounds great, but there’s one (potentially big) problem: some employees will hesitate to adopt changes to their daily workflows. Humans are creatures of habit, as they say, so revamping ingrained processes can feel inconvenient and uncomfortable. Even if a change is ultimately positive, it is new and unfamiliar at the outset, so it could bring about some push back.
If you want to combat your employees’ fear of the unknown and get them to embrace new electronic workflows, consider these 4 tips:
#1: Seek Input
The first thing you should do when considering adopting technology for automated workflows is talk to your employees. Let them provide input on any workflow issues they are experiencing and ask them to suggest solutions. Your employees may be able to help you hone in on the biggest workflow pain points that technology can address. Plus, they are more likely to adopt any tools and workflows you decide to implement if they had some say in the matter up front.
#2: Provide Proper Training
Nothing will slow employee adoption of new technology more than lack of training. If you want people to get on board with new electronic workflows, you have to show them how to use the necessary tools. Offer tutorials that detail how the technology works, and demonstrate how it integrates with existing tools or processes. Your goal should be to make sure even the least tech-savvy person in the room feels comfortable with the demands of a new digital workflow.
#3: Discuss Proven Benefits
If you expect employees to make a major change to their daily workflows, you better be prepared to answer the “Why?” behind it. Talk to employees about the advantages of replacing paper processes with electronic processes—such as boosted process efficiency, increased data accuracy and consistency, and better patient care and communication. Also, offer stats like these to prove workflow improvements can enhance the organization:
- In America, medical errors (including those due to paperwork mix-ups) lead to more than 250,000 patient deaths each year
- 79% of healthcare providers report that electronic records help their facility run more efficiently
- Paperwork can add an hour of labor to every hour of patient care
#4: Identify Advocates
You know you’ll be met with hesitation when you propose implementing automated workflows at your healthcare facility. But the good news is you likely employ at least a few technology fiends who will welcome the change. Make it a priority to identify these people and appoint them as advocates—tasking them with promoting new technology across the organization and supporting other employees as they acclimate.
Implementing electronic workflows at your practice may not be easy, but it will be worth it in the long run. Want to dive deeper into the benefits of adopting automated workflows? Click below to check out our webinar with Dr. Chuck Webster, “(In)Form Your Patient Experience Through Workflow.”