How To

Physicians—The Key To High mHealth Adoption Across Hospitals

May 5, 2014 | Adam Turinas

A hospital’s success in implementing an electronic health record will depend largely on physicians’ willingness to adopt the new technology. Therefore, before embarking on such an initiative, finance leaders should conduct a targeted survey to assess the likelihood that the initiative will meet with physician resistance. The survey results can provide a basis for developing an outreach program that will bring physicians on board by helping them understand the initiative’s purpose and giving them a stake in its success.

Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, N.J., used a survey like that described in this article before introducing its electronic health record (EHR). The hospital’s preliminary rollout plan, developed just prior to the survey, emphasized physician education regarding the EHR’s value for improving the quality of care. The initial plan, based on the premise that physicians’ adoption would depend on their understanding of the EHR’s value, focused rollout efforts on underscoring the importance and relevance of EHR to physicians and patients.

Survey findings disclosed that, overall, the medical staff:

  • Well understood the EHR’s value
  • Were eager to see the hospital implement the technology quickly
  • Were concerned primarily about rollout details such as the level of support and timing issues

Nonetheless, the survey did identify pockets of resistance, and it was possible to group physicians into several distinct categories according to the likelihood that they would adopt the hospital EHR. The hospital changed course after the survey and crafted a rollout plan that more thoroughly addressed the identified needs and concerns of its medical staff. The plan included sending repeated, detailed rollout procedural information and updates to physicians—particularly targeting those identified as likely to be non-adopters—via email, text, blog, print, and other media, offering individual and group training and support as well as peer coaching, and targeting messages to physicians that responded to their individual concerns. Results of this effort led the project manager representing the EHR vender to comment, “This was the smoothest rollout I have ever seen.”

Implications For Mobile Application Adoption

  • Don’t assume you know what physicians want, ask them
  • Use insights gleaned from surveys to drive your plan
  • Develop a marketing plan to to drive adoption
  • Use multiple tactics with consistent messages delivered repeatedly
  • Learn, optimize and learn again

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