Based on the experience in last two decades, I came to know that top class technology stack may not be required to achieve the organisational goals to automate their business processes to scale-up the customer satisfaction, customer delight, provider and patient experiences. On the other hand, most of the digital transformation projects fail miserably as they are being delivered as technology originated projects. Whereas, as per my study and experience, technology is the component to map with right people and process to achieve the business goals. The below picture would illustrate the percentage of people, process and technology methodology which enables the success story of the EMR deployment project.
The above diagram shows that 70% of the component responsible to deliver the project is not technology, it is the people and the processes which have more role to play for any IT project in health informatics domain to meet the project deadline with quality delivery. Therefore, technology was never a challenge. However, as standalone methodology, people, process, and technology are necessary for the organisational transformation to achieve organisational efficiency. You need to balance the three and maintain good relationships among them.
Having said that, the organisation should always emphasize to have the right people on board and put the right processes for all the work-flows and then map it with the technology to achieve the project goal toward business optimisation which ultimately in force to achieve the customer satisfaction and customer delights.
Technology is expensive and does not always offer a high return on investment, so it’s important to ensure it runs smoothly. Make sure that end users know how to use the technology you acquired — if they don’t or if the technology doesn’t integrate well with processes by the right sets of people, organisation won’t create value from its original investment in the project.
In healthcare domain, especially EMR deployment project fail many times as these projects have been treated as technology project instead of people and process driven and as a result the adoption of the application never scaled-up in the Indian geographic as it was supposed to be. Finally, the end user (patient) and provider (hospital) could have never maintained a longitudinal medical record of individual patient. The EMR deployment is clinician driven project whereby the people and process play a vital role to define the workflow with ease of use and then transform it to the simple technology to ensure the utmost users are on the board to adopt the changes.
No matter how sophisticated technology you have introduced to EMR based digital transformation (health informatics) project, if the process are not put in order by the right sets of people then it will be a nightmare to scale-up the adoption of the EMR across the organisation as partial implementation of EMR will not help either to the provider or patient to ensure the continuity of care with quality at the hospital.
To execute such project, there are too many technology options to choose; from both license and open source resources but getting the people with right experience who can define the complex to simple processes which could be mapped with the technology to get the better ROI and organisational goals is always a challenge to the industry/ product based companies.
However, deployment of EMR at a hospital is a big change management initiative which refers to the process by which the hospital undertakes variations in their business strategies, and process in order to become more patient centric. For any healthcare provider / hospital, change management is critical whereby people, process, and technology are married together to achieve better adoption rate from the end users to achieve the following:
- One-point access to personal health record anywhere, anytime
- Better communication between patients and care providers
- Avoid replication of records
- Reduce medical errors
- Cost reduction for patients
- Better patient care
PEOPLE: KEY ELEMENT OF THE PROJECT
It addresses to bring knowledge, skills, and process abilities & competencies. It is all about staff training, awareness, and competent processes. EMR’s deployment depends on the people involved with clinical and non- clinical operation, beginning with the senior leadership, and requires getting them on board. If the planned change isn’t communicated effectively, correctly or within the right amount of time, disconnect can occur, hindering even the most carefully planned improvements towards the application adoption. The organisation must assist employees to adjust their mindsets to achieve the transformation.
PROCESS: SUCCESS OF THE PROJECT
It addresses the business needs, and the workforce and competencies required to meet these. It is all about management systems, the best practices and governance framework. It is essential to ensure that right processes and SOPs are in place to support the organisational or digital transformation. For transformation activities to succeed, process is key. Make sure that all the end users are thorough with the business processes and goals. Putting a proper process in place is critical to ensure the team is prepared for the change taking place.
TECHNOLOGY: ENABLER FOR DECISION- MAKING
It addresses tools, and techniques used to communicate and to make the work efficient. Technology is the final piece of the puzzle that can bring everything together and help keep everything aligned. The right transformation tools can help organisation to maintain compliance in a rapidly changing global landscape, as well. After mapping the process /transformation in technology, it makes more ease of use to run through the process which gives the expected outcome efficiently & logically, and as a result, it satisfies the patient and provider both.
As a concept, people, process, and technology refers to the methodology in which the balance of people, process, and technology drives action: People perform a specific type of work for the organization using processes (and often, technology) to streamline and improve these processes. This methodology can help to achieve harmony within an organisation and is most often used when deciding whether to purchase or implement new technologies.
As it has been agreed by the product owners that EMR implementation is clinician lead project therefore, clinical users always look forward to having the ease of use based system in place, and it could not be achieved if right people could have designed the work-flow with simplicity and map it to the technology components.
As a result, users would have a feeling that application which they are using is much easier, faster than paper and no training needed which automatically enables all the clinical users to adopt the digital transformation without making major efforts by the organisation in the terms of change management because the clinical users start getting the clinical dashboard on their finger tips for taking the clinical decision at the point of care, and also refer these data for their thesis and research papers.
Writer Abdullah Saleem is Group CIO, OMNI Hospitals.