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Main Barrier to Technological Change in a Medical Practice

In a world where technology change is becoming more and more ubiquitous, many medical practices seem to stubbornly hold-out. The passing of the HITECH Act and new HIPAA guidelines has prodded many practices toward adopting EHRs, though some do so reluctantly. Today, nearly 90% of medical offices have moved their recordkeeping to some digital platform [1]. All that being said, it is important to recognize that all change is met with resistance which is why modern technology has not (yet) been universally adopted in the healthcare industry.

Fear of Technological Change Guide

Change is a challenge, and technology is ever evolving at a rapid pace. That is why it is important to make sure your practice is keeping up. If you have not yet adopted an EHR or are falling behind on integrating modern digital technological solutions in your practice, why is that? Well, general consensus says that the issue is fear of the cost versus benefit [2]. Will this change show positive monetary return on investment? Will the staff struggle to adapt the office culture and workflows? Will this cause new concerns like cybersecurity threats or data loss (for more on that, check out our comprehensive guide)? Combine all this with a general distrust of new technology (such as security issues), and many practices find that their systems have fallen behind the times.

While such concerns must be taken into account, the majority of the answers will lead toward making a technological advancement – just a well planned and calculated one. Your practice must manage change so that it is not so jarring. Consider your unique roadblocks and needs, as well as take a good look at infrastructure, staffing and finances. With a thorough analysis of your current practice, and then taking the technological learning curve into account for adoption and implementation, your practice can look forward to a successful implementation process.

Even with successful implementation though, we must remember that change is always hard. The human element can often be overlooked. Many times the fear of change is a greater barrier than the change itself [3]. As resisting change is natural, just keep in mind that your staff can adapt if they are given the proper time and resources.

Just knowing that technological change can be beneficial (and successfully implemented) does not mean practices will not pause. For a few common scenarios that your practice may be struggling with before deciding to move forward with new technology, stay tuned for our next blog. You can get more in depth information on technology and change in the healthcare industry by downloadingFace Your Fear of Technological Change guide.

[1] https://dashboard.healthit.gov/quickstats/pages/physician-ehr-adoption-trends.php
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804461/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804461/

 

 

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