Why are IT people so hard to talk to? You have a problem, you give them a call, and they start talking about algorithms and firewalls and DoS and DDoS? And then you try to explain about EHRs and HIPAA and ICD-10 and… I think we may have just found the issue.
IT is a complex field with lots of moving parts and lots of ways for things to go wrong. When you combine that with the complexity of healthcare, the scale of the communication gap grows exponentially. And although experts at what they do, IT experts are not usually well versed in the clinical space and vice versa. However, not all IT folk are hard to talk to (ahem… Systeem, for example).
You need a bilingual IT partner!
It helps to have an IT partner who speaks the IT language, understands clinical jargon, and has experience working with a variety of clinical workflows. A small, rural practice has a dramatically different workflow than a huge, urban teaching hospital which will be different still from an urgent care facility. Your partner must be willing and able to adapt to the variety of problems you will face. It will require creative problem solving along with flexibility to make sure that IT needs are met for your unique situation.
“Tech” is not a 4-letter word
Traditionally, many practices have an IT team they call when something goes wrong. They rush to the rescue, (hopefully) fix the issue, and then you don’t see them again until the next issue arises.
But today’s technology demands more. Technology is changing rapidly across all industries. The tech that’s available to practices today can help your team be more efficient, get more patients the care they need, scale your business successfully, and more. So much is possible thanks to technology.
You should trust and include your IT partner in both the tactical and strategic sides of your practice. And of course, if/when you have an issue, you should be able to count on them. In fact, your IT partner should know you have a problem before you do.
Healthcare is about people
Healthcare IT challenges come with higher stakes than other industries and you need a partner who will listen and go the extra mile to give you the best solution possible. Some IT folks may think it's all just networks and databases and servers (oh my!). You need a partner who understands that at the end of the day this technology allows you to help people live fuller, happier lives. Putting the patient first automatically helps clinical and IT people find common ground and start working towards a solution.
IT people don’t have to be hard to talk to, you just have to make sure you are talking to the right ones.
About The Author
Becca Wood, Client Success Specialist
Becca comes to Systeem after earning her M.A. and M.B.A from Southern Methodist University. She has a passion for writing and sharing ways practices can find peace with technology.