This guest blog post is by Bryan Fiekers, Senior Director of Research Services at HIMSS Analytics
Before and during HIMSS2017, Vocera® worked with HIMSS Analytics to survey 124 clinical and IT leaders at health systems, hospitals, and outpatient facilities. Vocera issued a report with research conducted by HIMSS Analytics, called “Research Findings: Strong Collaboration Between Clinical and IT Leaders Supports Better Safety and Quality”.
From participants’ answers to ten questions posed in the study, two themes emerged as most important.
- Clinical and IT leaders overwhelmingly share the belief that the most important value a clinical IT solution can deliver is to help to safeguard against clinical errors and ensure patient safety.
- In the view of clinical leaders, fostering greater collaboration between clinical and IT teams to ensure technology improves workflow is the way to make technology a greater part of the solution to clinician burnout.
The study’s findings point to ways that IT and clinical leaders can work together to help reduce clinician burnout and shape solutions that will create safer, higher quality care for patients.
The State of Collaboration Between Clinical and IT Teams
The study looked at how IT leaders and clinical leaders work together and with front line teams to assess the need for clinical IT solutions, define requirements, select and implement solutions, and measure solution success. It also sought to better understand the state and causes not only of clinician burnout, but also of IT team burnout.
Identifying the Need for a New IT Solution
When it comes to how an organization decides they need a new IT solution, about half of clinical and IT leaders reported that they work together with frontline team members to identify gaps in the care experience and IT solutions that can help deliver next-generation care.
Defining System Requirements
At more than half of organizations, IT and clinical leaders collaborate to define requirements for clinical IT system investments. Early-adopter health systems are going beyond collaboration between IT and clinical leaders and are directly consulting with frontline team members to understand workflow.
Selecting and Implementing Solutions – and What’s Missing
While respondents reported that clinical and IT leaders collaborate to select and implement solutions, the absence of care team members, patients, and family members in the process was a gap. These are the people who have the greatest stake in quality and safety at the bedside and across the care continuum.
The Ultimate Measure of Solution Success
Clinical and IT leaders agree that the ultimate measure of a clinical IT solution’s success is its impact on clinical measures such as quality and safety improvement. No other measures came close.
The study shed light not only on the state of clinician burnout, but also on the state of IT burnout.
On the clinical side, the majority of clinical leaders believe that collaboration between IT and clinical teams to ensure clinical technology improves workflows is key to turning clinical IT into a burnout solution rather than cause.
Meanwhile, half of IT respondents reported that their teams are somewhat burned out by the demands of selecting, implementing, and managing clinical IT solutions. Two-thirds cited budget and resource restraints as the top factor contributing to burnout among their teams.
Better Collaboration Is the Key to Better Quality and Safety
A great deal is beyond the control of IT and clinical leaders, particularly in the area of budgets and resources. But they can control how they work together and involve stakeholders to develop, implement, and measure solutions.
Clinical and IT leaders most value safety and quality, and yet safety and quality are common casualties of burnout. Greater collaboration between clinical and IT teams to ensure technology improves workflow can help reduce burnout and ultimately help deliver what both sets of leaders value most.
Download the report: “Research Findings: Strong Collaboration Between Clinical and IT Leaders Supports Better Safety and Quality”
View the recorded webinar: “HIMSS17 Survey Results: How Hospitals Select and Deploy Clinical IT Systems to Ensure Safety and Outcomes”