5 Steps to Creating a Health Technology Innovation Plan

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Before investing in and implementing a new technology initiative, healthcare CIOs must first diagnose the condition they wish to address. Then they can research possible remedies.

Whether an organization wants to improve patient care or gain efficiencies, few healthcare CIOs receive…

funding to implement or develop new technology initiatives. But despite this lack of capital, healthcare IT leaders are under constant pressure to implement healthcare technology innovation programs to address the many challenges facing hospitals today.

Much of the innovation embraced by healthcare organizations comes from off-the-shelf software or hardware that can uniquely solve one or more challenges. Examples include hospitals using collaboration platforms to support care team collaboration, using analytics tools alongside electronic health record data to gain new insights into patients and utilization wearable devices to track patients’ vital signs after they leave the hospital.

To ensure the success of a health technology innovation initiative, CIOs can follow several steps from research to evaluation and continue to be the go-to for most innovation projects.

1. Start by generating ideas

Innovation in health technologies begins with the creation of an idea that helps solve an existing or impending problem, such as readmissions. During this phase, healthcare IT staff should consider new approaches to problem solving. Occasionally, consultants are included because of their experience working with other hospitals. The output of this phase is usually a list of potential solutions that will require further research in the next phase.

2. Conduct more research

Before investing in or developing new technology, it is essential that healthcare organizations research the proposed application they plan to implement. Research may include supplier interviews, internal roundtables and product demonstrations. It should also include a review of the financial feasibility, benefits and value proposition the tool will bring.

3. Prototype, develop and test

Once the initial research is complete and the team agrees to move forward, the next phase is development, which can take the form of a prototype if it’s a custom application, or the deployment of a custom application. existing vendor technology in a test environment. IT, for example, could test consumer wearables for patient use that can send data to a hospital to monitor a patient’s heart condition after discharge. Or developers, for example, could decide to build and deploy Internet of Things capabilities that can detect the actions of patients in their rooms and alert nurses to potential high-risk patients.

Healthcare CIOs are always looking for innovative ways to deliver new value through technology for employees and patients.

4. Implement the tool to a wider audience

Once the prototyping phase is successfully completed, the innovation team can focus on getting their app live and rolling out to a wider audience, possibly rolling it out in one facility or across the entire of a health network. During this phase, the IT department invests additional resources to closely monitor the new tool and ensure that end users receive adequate support.

5. Once the tool is deployed, evaluate

During the evaluation phase, the IT department should pay close attention to the feedback received from end users and continue to monitor the performance of the tool and its impact on the group. There may be additional changes and IT may decide to adjust the application or its deployment.

Healthcare CIOs are always looking for innovative ways to deliver new value through technology for their employees and patients. Innovation in health technologies does not always require a new invention or the investment of significant capital in large infrastructure technology projects. Innovation can come from small initiatives resulting from ingenuity and creative thinking.


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