Here at Corepoint Health we work with customers of all sizes: large IDNs, regional hospitals, radiology clinics, labs, outpatient clinics, long-term care clinics, ambulatory, and more.
One constant strand between the different types of clients we work with is their desire to make the health IT environment applicable and useful for each and every department and each and every person who logs into a computer or accesses their network. While many of this blog’s readers would consider reaching that goal just as likely as Wile E. Coyote catching the Roadrunner, they continue to try and try again. It’s simply what you do.
Not long ago I saw an online contact list his title as “Health IT Evangelist.” This is a perfect description of what health IT professionals do daily, albeit without the reaffirming chorus of “Amen!” that television evangelists receive. They (you) enjoy and believe in the power of technology, that’s why they chose this profession and why they work 40+ hours each week to prove to skeptical coworkers the value of the available technology, if they would trust it and use it as it was intended.
Converting the skeptics is no cake walk, a task made more difficult when users feel they do not have total control over their activities. Having to pick up the phone and call the help desk for every little problem may create resentment among certain personalities. I’m always encouraged when I hear positive stories from customers who have empowered various individuals or departments with varying levels of control over the data that flows in and out of their department.
I recently spoke to the CIO of an upstate NY community hospital who said he gave their head nurse the ability to view specific interface connections using User Profiles in their interface engine. The nurse can log in to the administration console and monitor if health data is flowing to and from her department as intended. If there is a problem, she can then alert the interface analyst with the details.
That might not seem like much, but that small amount of control can be the difference between a call that sounds like this: “We’re not receiving orders and we have a waiting room full of sick patients. I need you to fix this right away!” to “It looks like the Lab interface is down again, would you please restart their system?”
The first is a call of anger and desperation. In the second call, the nurse maintains her control of the situation because she knows what the problem is and how to fix it – she has become a logical extension of the health IT team.
More of these de facto members of the health IT team throughout your organization means there are more health IT converts, which makes your job easier and gives you a larger base to tap into when you need to accomplish future initiatives. After all, the more coyotes there are throughout the organization, the easier it will be for you to finally catch that elusive Roadrunner.