Nearly every leader in healthcare IT will agree that a successful implementation of any large-scale initiative will get nowhere without a shared vision. IT teams within healthcare don’t live in a vacuum — their success hinges on their ability to influence the opinions of those that ultimately hold the purse strings: the hospital advisory board.
Let’s face it — no matter how carefully an initiative is planned, how effective and knowledgeable a team is, or how carefully resources are allocated, few things matter more in healthcare IT innovation than getting key stakeholders on the same page.
So it comes as no surprise that a successful HIT implementation process starts long before the tech arrives. Unfortunately, many IT teams and leaders struggle to secure both funding and support from the people who matter most. If you’re among them, consider how these 3 surefire strategies could change the conversation within your team — and how they could help you better champion change within your organization.
Pitch your IT project through the lens of bigger goals.
When pitching a new HIT initiative, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the technical aspects of a project, and even easier to root arguments in hyper-specific data points that relate directly to the performance of an IT team in particular.
But more often than not, these specific data points aren’t what really matter to a board of directors that are more interested in larger financial goals. Simply put, IT leaders often miss the mark when it comes to framing their initiatives in the bigger picture — but if the ultimate goal is to win support from non-technical decision makers, the bigger picture is what matters most.
Rather than focusing on how a project solves for the technical challenges facing your IT team, expand your argument to include language that speaks directly to the bottom line, patient outcomes and employee engagement. Spell out in detail how technical improvements and enhancements in hospital systems will ultimately increase the patient share of wallet, even if that means leaving out the most nitty-gritty technical benefits of an initiative.
Simply put, securing funding for a large healthcare IT initiative most often comes down to simplifying technical benefits in layman’s terms, and remembering to speak the language of your audience.
Frame how a project will be implemented, not just how stakeholders will benefit.
As with any major transformation initiative, overhauling any aspect of a hospital’s IT system will inevitably impact employee workflow and efficiency in one way or another. For hospital stakeholders and technical leads alike, spearheading HIT initiatives is a question of how to change the tires while the car is still moving — that is, how will doctors and nurses continue to deliver exceptional patient care while the systems on which they rely are in flux?
While outlining the ROI of an IT project is a critical element in securing funding, so is spelling out how your team plans to minimize disruption throughout the process. Get specific about the tools and resources you’ll need at each stage of the process so that board members can clearly visualize how a project will be rolled out.
For board members, a well thought-out implementation process is critical — otherwise, the risk for lost time and wasted money is likely to overshadow whatever benefits the project would provide. That means taking extra care to showcase the time and attention paid to deployment rather than simply focusing on the end goals.
Explore your initiative’s far-reaching benefits as well as quick wins.
Clearly stating the short-term ROI of an IT initiative is key — after all, your board of directors will want to know how your project will have an immediate impact. That said, a great way to double-down on ROI is to explore the ways in which an IT project could positively impact a healthcare institution in the longer term.
Beyond keeping the lights on, consider exploring the ways in which more advanced HIT systems could enhance talent recruitment efforts — and how a better healthcare team would ultimately attract more patients over time. Since a national shortage of healthcare professionals poses a real recruitment challenge for hospital leadership, highlighting how IT can be part of the solution is especially effective.
Better yet, spell out the ways in which more advanced and intuitive tools and platforms could automate the most time-intensive aspects of employees’ workdays. Doing so naturally segways into how more advanced HIT systems reduce friction and increase the time doctors and nurses spend with patients (and ultimately, increase patient SOW).
Demonstrating the ways in which an IT initiative could support the continued growth and competitiveness of your healthcare institution is a surefire way to gain board members’ trust in the long-term — and make it easier to gain critical support for future projects.
Whether you’re already leading an HIT initiative or just beginning the process of gaining board member support for an upcoming project, having the right team behind you is a crucial element of success. HealthTek is a leader in empowering IT teams and hospitals throughout their transformation efforts. Talk to us about how we can help you at every stage of the process.