A recent article in Fierce Healthcare titled, “Health technology startups and innovators: Ignore physicians at your product’s peril” outlined the possible reasons that many healthcare related technologies miss the mark, fall flat or are never adopted or integrated into workflows in a meaningful way. It cited the cost of physician time as a big reason that crucial stakeholders aren’t usually involved during the early stages of development. This barrier is one that has led to the development of products that really don’t improve the delivery of healthcare, but rather add another complicated and disruptive layer. When the end user is only looped in once the technology is developed and deployed, in the complex world of healthcare, the chances it will miss the mark are high.
The article noted above also cited that physicians are unwilling to “sacrifice personal income” to develop new tools and that since they are data driven, they want proof that the new tool or workflow will actually work before they will implement a technology. So what is the healthcare IT developer to do?
At Navigating Cancer, we are dedicated to improving the patient experience and we recognize that the only way to do it is with technology-based tools that enable the care team to do more with limited resources. We also recognize that needlessly disrupting workflows or adding to an already onerous documentation burden is a deal breaker.
Fortunately for us we have found innovative care providers who recognize the status quo just isn’t going to work and, like us, they are seeking out partners to make a change. It’s not about sacrificing income to them, it’s about creating a better system to remain viable in a value-based world. If they can develop tools to do better for their patients and reduce costs, that’s not a sacrifice to them.
One of our key clinical partnerships is with the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth, Texas. The have implemented a technology solution we created together to better triage and manage patients using symptom management pathways and remote monitoring. We didn’t bring a solution to them, but rather shadowed their process, interviewed the key stakeholder and then worked together to develop tools to simplify the management of patient-reported outcomes and make it easier for staff to manage large numbers of patients in a proactive and consistent way. They’ve seen hospitalizations go down, they have been able to intervene with patients while side effects can still be managed outside the clinic, and they’ve empowered the whole care team to work at the top of their license using approved pathways and standing orders to navigate patient issues in real time.
Getting physicians and other members of the care team involved early in the development of healthcare technologies may be hard, but it’s not impossible and it is essential. No one knows the workflows, hurdles and opportunities better than those delivering care. Partner that knowledge with technology experts and the outcomes can be very exciting.
If you would like to learn more about Navigating Cancer, contact us today!