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Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Health IT Success – It Needs Partnerships and Hard Work!

The following insightful article appeared a few days ago

Love Thy Vendor?

Providers and IT suppliers don't get along, right? You can build a partnership of trust with your vendor--and actually get what you pay for. Here's how.

Underperforming technology is a topic that Brian Dixon knows well. As health IT manager at the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute, Dixon is one of several managers who monitors a $216 million grant portfolio on behalf of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Resource Center for Health IT. With some 75 projects under way, Dixon has seen firsthand how inadequate software or flawed devices can bring innovation to a halt. In one AHRQ-supported telemedicine project, for instance, nearly one-third of the patient participants dropped out due to difficulties using home-reporting technology. Such problems can be averted, Dixon says--if healthcare providers and technology vendors learn to work together. "The provider-vendor relationship is critical," he says.

The "working together" part, of course, is the problem. Dixon says the two sides are doing a mediocre job of realizing their potential. "I'd give the industry a C. It is performing adequately but could do a lot more. You need a partnership, not just a contractual relationship."

Many healthcare executives, no doubt, would give provider-vendor relationships a similar grade--if not worse. Technology vendors and their healthcare customers may not be appearing on The Jerry Springer Show, but their often stormy relationships are well-documented. Ask any hospital chief information officer who has experienced network downtime when software applications fail, throwing the entire network into disarray. Or talk to a medical group executive who bought an electronic medical record package, only to find that promised features fell far short of expectations. The healthcare industry is looking to IT to help deliver it to the promised land of improved communications and patient safety, but the industry's dirty little secret is that many an IT deployment has derailed, coming in late, over budget or not at all-leaving many a fractured provider-vendor relationship as a result.

Following are four lessons learned from healthcare organizations that have found a way to sidestep the shouting match with their IT suppliers. They have moved beyond contractual agreements--although those still play a significant role--to develop solid working relationships with hardware and software companies. For these leaders, a successful vendor relationship begins before the product search even begins. The effort, they say, needs to continue well into the deployment--even years after go-live. Picking the right partner, establishing deployment accountabilities, and keeping the lines of communication open thereafter are all part of the mix.

Continue reading this long article here:

http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/205611/topic/WS_HLM2_HOM/Love-Thy-Vendor.html

There is really little to say here, except that the author, Gary Baldwin, has it pretty right!

As I always used to say when involved with these sort of projects – ‘If we have to resort to the contract and lawyers we have failed’! Rescue rarely happens when the lawyers are summoned!

Follow the steps suggested in this article and you may avoid both waste and disappointment!

David.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Partnerships work when there is shared risk to achieve common goals. How many technology investments are made to achieve goals rather than to deliver the "...machine that goes bing..."? How many technology investments even have goals well defined and agreed beforehand? In my experience the answer to both is close to zero.
Set well defined and measurable goals/outcomes/benefits, and contract a partner on board who has a vested financial interest in achieving these. You are then working in your area of strength rather than getting lost in the detail of a vendor's technology. You are paying for outcomes rather than technology.
M