Making tech make sense
Healthcare organization must begin forming tech-forward strategies, says Kimber Lockhart, chief technology officer at One Medical, which helps patients virtually interact with physicians. “As patient care moves from episodic to continuous care, it will be extremely difficult to have high-quality patient care that isn’t tech enabled,” she says.
Lockhart cautions that organizations must understand the needs and lifestyles of their patients first, before investing in technology because of its bells and whistles. “Tech-enabled patient care isn’t only about the technology. It’s also about integrating the design process,” she says. “Healthcare organizations often make the mistake of selecting the technology first to support a current, inefficient process; or trying to shoehorn the process into the capabilities of a popular software product. This is why it’s important to develop strong design and technology integration and/or development capabilities in-house.”
Forward-thinking and flexible providers are a big part of making tech-enabled care programs work, as they will need to iterate their work flows to make the most of technology. The most successful organizations will have a culture that values continuous improvement over day-to-day familiarity, Lockhart says.
“I see tech-enabled healthcare as care that is enhanced in quality, made available regardless of location, and stretched from episodic to continuous care through thoughtful integration of technology tools,” Lockhart says.