A CNO I know was part of a team of hospital leaders who had the goal of making it easier for clinicians to communicate. On the heels of what seemed like years of constant change and pushing for adoption of new or updated technologies, the hospital inserted smart phones into the patient-care environment. This brought another set of adoption challenges that left the CNO wondering what had made this “small” change so difficult.
In my 2017 CNO Perspective report, I use this story to illustrate that introducing technology, a change in process, or expectations of changed behavior can be very hard. I then show that it doesn’t have to be, as I share factors to consider and steps to take to help make introducing new technology a smoother, more successful process.
I was inspired to cover this topic after attending this year’s American Nursing Informatics Association Conference, where it became clear to me that many hospital leaders today are intently focused on texting. I realized that when CNOs and other leaders make isolated decisions about a secure texting app, they often leave out the entire complexity of communication in a hospital.
Three Key Factors for Success
The 2017 CNO Perspective report talks about moving beyond a tactical focus to see the broader scope of the goal of technology in a clinical environment, which is to solve a problem, improve a process, or improve patient care. It talks in depth about how to be purposeful about clinical communication and workflow strategy by understanding three areas of decision input:
How people expect technology to perform
The patient-care ecosystem context
How nurses will use technology
How People Expect Technology to Perform Technology adoption will only succeed if the solution meets end user expectations. The report looks at three things a CNO in the planning stage of introducing technology must understand about user expectations, and what is behind end users’ very thin band of acceptance.
The Patient-Care Ecosystem Context The National Center for Biotechnology Information has identified moderating and mediating factors that hospital leaders need to understand and address in the earliest stages of identifying and procuring technology. You need to address all of these factors before putting technology in the hands of your nursing staff.
How Nurses Will Use Technology When you look at the initial and long-term outcomes of a solution for clinical communication and workflow, you have to factor two elements into the picture: data, and the devices on which nurses send and receive data. With mobile technology there’s such a capability to get information that we have to ensure that the overwhelming cacophony that goes on in the patient room isn’t sent to the pocket.
A Change to the Way Nurses Practice
When we talk about adoption of mobile communication technology in a clinical setting, we are talking about so much more than getting people to embrace change. Mobile strategy doesn’t just affect the way clinicians communicate, it changes the way they practice. This is why we have to understand and meet users’ expectations and support practical use in the patient care environment.