How to Keep Healthcare IT Projects Moving Forward

January 12, 2021 | By Wendy Bartlett

How to Keep Healthcare IT Projects Moving Forward

From implementing a new electronic health record (EHR) system to trying your hand at patient engagement technology and beyond, there are countless examples of healthcare IT projects unfolding at any given time. However, with COVID-19 causing uncertainty for nearly all businesses, you may be thinking that pausing your healthcare IT projects is the safe bet—but that’s not necessarily the case. 

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare leaders see IT projects as a crucial means to providing quality patient care—especially amid the rise of healthcare consumerism, which has significantly transformed patient expectations for digital capabilities, convenient self-service offerings, and transparency around cost and care.

Learn why it’s more important than ever to keep these projects moving forward, as well as how you can ensure they are successful during the pandemic.

Consider COVID-Related Benefits

One of the best ways to keep your healthcare IT projects moving forward despite the pandemic is to consider how new technologies might benefit your organization during COVID-19. Several types of healthcare tech can be beneficial for navigating challenges and deviations related to the pandemic.

For example, COVID-19 has caused the rapid acceleration of telehealth adoption, offering patients and providers an effective alternative to in-person appointments during the pandemic. As such, a number of healthcare practices are investing in telehealth solutions to allow for seamless virtual care delivery. 

And that’s not all—practices can benefit from using healthcare tech to access data on specific patient populations, introduce workflow efficiencies to cut costs , take advantage of self-service tools to minimize in-person contact, optimize the patient journey during COVID-19 (e.g. digitizing the patient intake process), and more.

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Recap the Benefits to Leadership

Facing unprecedented challenges in 2020, many healthcare organizations big and small have been under tremendous pressure to cut costs. Executives have been forced to make tough choices regarding everything from staff layoffs and resource depletion to stalling healthcare IT projects that may not be a top priority.

Now that we’re coming up on a full year since COVID-19 landed in the U.S., it’s a good opportunity to revisit and reinvigorate stalled projects—but doing it effectively likely requires buy-in and support from the top. To keep your healthcare IT initiatives moving forward, recap the various ways technology can benefit the organization, including potential COVID-19 benefits. This way, you can gain the buy-in you need (again) and kickstart the next stage of your projects to help bring them to life.

Keep Touching Base with Your Team

You likely have designated teams assembled for each of your healthcare IT projects and if you don’t have project teams already, you should!). Make it a point to keep touching base with your team members regarding healthcare IT initiatives. Regular communication will help ensure your projects don’t simply lose momentum amidst COVID-19 distractions. Even when you don’t have major updates to share, it will still go a long way to keep your projects top of mind so they don’t become afterthoughts due to the pandemic.

Adjust Your Plan and Timing As Necessary

Chances are, even if you can keep your healthcare IT projects moving full speed ahead, you’ll need to adjust your original plan to accommodate the new normal. That may mean revisiting project timelines, switching vendor partners, or even shifting to a different type of technology that will better suit your organization as it exists today. A willingness to evolve and adapt your projects’ strategies and plans will help you keep them on track, even if implementation looks slightly different than you originally planned.

(Re)Analyze Your Existing Technology Stack

Speaking of investing in different technologies than you initially intended, it’s a great time to reanalyze and simplify your healthcare technology stack. You may find that it will benefit your organization to get rid of tools you’re barely making use of and make room for a more comprehensive solution that yields a greater return on your investment. 

Or, instead of using multiple solutions that may or may not talk to each other seamlessly, consider simplifying your tech stack by investing in an all-in-one solution platform. Doing so will not only enable your technology to work together more effectively, but also introduce cost-saving benefits that are crucial during this time.

These are just a few of many ways you can keep your healthcare IT projects moving forward and even optimize your tech stack during the pandemic. By rethinking which tools you need, recapping the benefits to your organization, and revamping your plan and approach, you can ensure that your projects carry on and achieve success in the process—even during unprecedented times like these.

The Complete Guide to Simplifying Practice Workflows