Designing workflows that improve efficiency and technology adoption should be a top priority to help health care organizations strengthen the quality of their technology implementation, according to a new poll of U.S. health care quality improvement professionals conducted by ASQ.
ASQ, celebrating 70 years in 2016, is the leading global authority on quality in all fields, organizations and industries, including health care, and is the world’s largest network of quality resources and experts.
According to the online poll of more than 170 ASQ members in the health care quality profession, 78 percent said improving workflow efficiency is the No. 1 way organizations can improve the quality of health care technology implementation. Seventy-one percent say the priority should be nurturing strong organizational leaders who champion healthcare technology initiatives. The North American health care information technology market is forecast to reach $31.3 billion by 2017, increasing from $21.9 billion in 2012, according to recent studies.
Survey participants also ranked the following technologies as having the most impact on patient experience and care coordination:
Hurdles to Technology Implementation
Many of the factors that improve health care technology also have hurdles that make implementation prohibitive. Survey respondents said the following hurdles are “very difficult” to overcome by health care organizations as they work to implement technology that will improve quality, efficiency and reduce cost.
“We in health care know that there are always drawbacks to technology. While not a panacea, technology can help engage patients, increase access to care, help improve safety, and make data collection easier,” said Susan Peiffer, chair of ASQ’s Healthcare Division and performance improvement specialist at Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) Western Wisconsin Division.
Respondents surveyed ranked the following aspects of health care technology as having the greatest impact on reducing the overall cost to the organization and maximizing the organization’s return on investment.
Other possible quality improvement solutions offered by respondents to strengthen the use of technology within health care organizations include:
“Just as technology continues to evolve, we will continue to improve how we use technology and how we integrate it into our interactions with patients,” Peiffer said.
ASQ quality improvement experts work in a diverse range of healthcare organizations from hospitals to public health departments. Quality improvement methods have proven increasingly successful in health care organizations.