Many health care leaders struggle with identifying the advantages and/or disadvantages when adopting a new or improving a current health information system. Many organizations are opting out of acquiring a new health information system due to the high monetary cost. Meanwhile, other health care organizations face resistance from their employees and other stakeholders when there is new system implementation. Overall, system acquisition is a challenge for most health care leaders.
Review each of the following articles:
- Managing the data explosion (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
- Catholic health partners to acquire Kaiser Permanente Ohio (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
- Mergers and acquisitions may be hazardous to health IT (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
In a minimum of 300 words, refer to these articles (above) as you answer the following questions in your initial post:
- Discuss at least three of the barriers faced by health care leaders in adopting health information systems. Can these barriers be prevented? Explain your answer.
- Discuss some options that are available for health information system acquisition.
- Discuss systems of checks and balances could be used to eliminate or reduce resistance.
- Discuss how culture and/or behavioral factors influence acquisition.
Expert Solution Preview
When it comes to adopting or improving a health information system, healthcare leaders often encounter various challenges. These challenges can arise from both external factors, such as high costs, and internal factors, such as resistance from employees and stakeholders. In this response, we will discuss three barriers faced by healthcare leaders in adopting health information systems, explore options for system acquisition, discuss systems of checks and balances to reduce resistance, and examine how culture and behavioral factors influence the acquisition process.
1. Barriers in adopting health information systems:
a) Financial constraints: One of the primary barriers faced by healthcare leaders is the high cost associated with acquiring new health information systems. These systems require significant financial resources for procurement, implementation, and maintenance. To overcome this barrier, healthcare leaders can explore options such as seeking financial assistance from government or private entities, partnering with other organizations for shared investment, or considering long-term cost-saving measures through system efficiency.
b) Resistance from employees/stakeholders: Implementing a new health information system often faces resistance from employees who have grown accustomed to existing workflows and technologies. Resistance may arise due to fear of change, lack of understanding of the benefits, or concerns about job security. To address this barrier, healthcare leaders can focus on effective change management strategies, including proper communication, training programs, involving employees/stakeholders in the decision-making process, and highlighting the advantages of the new system.
c) Technological limitations: Healthcare systems are complex, involving various departments and stakeholders. Integrating different technological platforms and ensuring interoperability can be a significant challenge. Healthcare leaders need to consider factors such as system compatibility, scalability, security, and data privacy. Engaging with technology vendors and experts to assess the system’s capabilities and conducting thorough testing and piloting before full-scale implementation can help mitigate these barriers.
2. Options for health information system acquisition:
a) In-house development: Some healthcare organizations choose to develop their health information systems internally. This approach provides complete control, customization, and the opportunity to align the system with specific organizational needs. However, in-house development requires substantial resources, time, and expertise.
b) Vendor selection: Many healthcare organizations opt for third-party vendors who specialize in health information systems. Vendor selection involves evaluating the vendor’s reputation, system features, compatibility, support services, and cost-effectiveness. This approach saves time and effort in system development but requires careful assessment and contract negotiations.
c) Collaborative partnerships: Healthcare organizations can consider partnering with other organizations to share the cost and resources associated with health information system acquisition. This collaborative approach enables knowledge sharing, risk mitigation, and collective bargaining power to acquire systems that meet the needs of all participating organizations.
3. Systems of checks and balances to reduce resistance:
a) Transparent communication: Implementing an effective communication strategy is crucial to address resistance. Regular updates, town hall meetings, training sessions, and clear documentation can help employees understand the reasons behind the system change and how it will benefit them and the organization.
b) Incentives and rewards: Offering incentives and rewards can motivate employees to embrace the new system. This can include recognition, career advancement opportunities, or financial incentives tied to system proficiency. Positive reinforcement can help reduce resistance and encourage active participation in the system adoption process.
c) Continuous feedback and support: Providing ongoing support and addressing user concerns promptly can lead to better engagement and acceptance. Creating a support structure that includes help desks, training resources, and dedicated system experts can ensure a smooth transition and reduce resistance.
4. Influence of culture and behavioral factors on acquisition:
Culture and behavioral factors play a significant role in the successful acquisition of a health information system. If the organizational culture encourages innovation, open communication, and teamwork, the acquisition process is likely to be smoother. On the other hand, a culture that resists change, promotes hierarchical decision-making, or lacks trust may intensify resistance and hinder system adoption.
Additionally, individual behavioral factors, such as employees’ attitudes towards technology, willingness to learn, adaptability, and fear of job displacement, can also influence the acquisition process. Healthcare leaders need to address these factors by fostering a supportive culture, providing appropriate training and education, involving employees in decision-making, and offering continuous reinforcement.
In conclusion, the adoption of health information systems in healthcare organizations involves various barriers, options for acquisition, systems of checks and balances to reduce resistance, and the influence of culture and behavioral factors. By understanding these aspects and employing effective strategies, healthcare leaders can navigate the challenges and facilitate the successful implementation of new health information systems.