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When iPads become Paperweights: Realizing Value with Technology

Posted by fivebyfive on September 18, 2013

I coveted the iPad for years. All of my friends had them and I loved my iPhone, so I knew the iPad would be perfect for me. After a year of window-shopping, my parents took the hint and surprised me with a brand new iPad2 for Christmas. I was so excited about it. That day I loaded at least 20 apps onto the device and played with it incessantly for the next week.

There was only one problem… As the novelty of the tablet dwindled, so did my usage.

I loved the idea of the iPad, but once I had one, I couldn’t figure out how to integrate it into my life in a way that was valuable. Inevitably my beautiful technology eye-candy became a $700 paperweight that my children occasionally used to watch cartoons. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the technology. The problem was the gap between what the technology was capable of doing and my ability to integrate that functionality into my life to accomplish daily tasks.

Nearly two years later, I have rediscovered my need for the iPad by using an iPad Mini as my mobile device (long story, different post). So far, my utilization and perception of the device’s value are vastly different from my first experience with the iPad. The point of this post is simple: the ability to realize value with any technology is a lot less about what the technology is capable of doing, and more about bridging the gap between technical functionality and a person’s or an organization’s processes.

In healthcare, while simply deploying “state-of-the-art” technology has potential to differentiate providers among competing organizations, the ability to impact patient safety is only achievable to the extent new technologies are adopted and integrated into the clinical workflow of an organization. We are watching this process unfold with our clients at Medalogix. To date, our client’s ability to reduce readmissions with our Readmission Risk predictive model is almost directly correlated to the client’s compliance rate with the policy they created for effective use of our application.

The following statement is a simple, intuitive concept: “If you use the product the way the product was intended, you will experience value.” However, anytime technology visionaries attempt to disrupt processes, especially the workflow of clinicians, chances are change management will be required throughout and after implementation to ensure the client is adopting the technology into the process. Technology is an enabler for processes that improve outcomes. While the concept is simple, the execution of the concept is very complex.

However, when disruptive technologies hold true to their promise of value and are adopted, incredible movements in healthcare happen. Imagine how disruptive the X-Ray was for caregivers in the 1800’s. Imagine if clinicians never integrated it into their clinical workflow.

What if predictive analytics is the next X-Ray?


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