Healthcare has gone digital. Practices are looking for new ways to better serve their patients and handle the daily operations. Looking at technology solutions to free up resources to focus on patient care is typically the first step and the first mistake.
I want to present you with a very common scenario –
A practice wants to communicate with patients securely and conveniently so they hit their preferred internet search engine and search for “HIPAA compliant messaging”, which nabs them results for several top companies. The practice then calls other physicians to ask which vendor they use in their own respective practices before submitting a few contact requests for more information and to wait for the vendors to schedule a call for pricing. Usually the fastest response and/or the lowest price wins.
Would you find it surprising that in this selection process, the last step, isn’t the major mistake?
Step 1 of vendor analysis and selection has little to do with vendors at all and is actually about gathering the requirements of your desired outcome by doing a thorough analysis of what your current processes, solutions and needs are.
Humans are quick to jump to a solution and, rightfully, want to solve problems fast. We all want to solve problems as fast as possible too, but acting too fast leads to major interruptions to solving the problem.
Going back to the scenario described above, let’s say a vendor is selected. Money and time are invested in adopting a product and, inevitably, someone is less than thrilled. There is spotty adoption, or the product doesn’t do what you need after all. Is it back to the drawing board or do you stick it out through the contract term you just signed? You can see how this quick problem solving has turned into problem farming, and slow resolution.
Taking the necessary first step of gathering requirements and assessing the needs of all stakeholders will not only save you money but get you the right solution fast!
Does this take time to do? Yes.
For practices that may not have the resources to spare to dedicate to running a newer technology practice, check out my last blog on considerations of outsourcing these kinds of projects to industry experts.