The Healthcare industry has been advancing quickly into the digital age. Having a mobile strategy is just one part of it. With the introduction of electronic medical record systems and the ongoing integration of technology into the continuum of care, there has been an explosion of software and hardware products and solutions.
Along with that comes the dreaded task of selecting the “right” tool for the job. The options that are available range from the simple to the complex, free to costly and innovative and modern to established. The task can quickly become overwhelming.
To ease your selection process here are a few things to avoid when looking for and deciding on a digital rounding solution.
Avoid choosing a solution solely based on the brand name
Have you purchased a fine wine based solely on the brand name only to get home, open the bottle and realize their Chardonnay isn’t as good as their Cabernet? Selecting a rounding solution can result in a similar experience. There are companies that have been providing healthcare training, consulting, telecom products and other services for years, with great success.
To stay relevant as the industry starts to adopt new technology, some companies have purchased rounding products to include as additional service offerings. These products become more of an “add-on” and not their primary business. This can result in products that don’t adapt, don’t change often, and don’t get the resources or provide the customer service you deserve.
Try not to let the price tag deter you
You’ve heard the old sayings, “You get what you pay for” and “Cheaper isn’t always better”. The sayings ring true when looking for a rounding solution. While the cost of a rounding solution is important, it shouldn’t be the biggest factor. When looking at price, be sure to factor everything in. What training is included, what type of customer service is included, are there upgrade costs, etc. and verify.
The small things can quickly add up. If training isn’t included, you will have to spend resources (money) creating and providing that training. Investing a little more may save money in the long run.
Search for a solution that doesn't require tons of manual imput
You don’t pick a good book by just looking at its cover. You may read the synopsis and a few pages on the inside to see if the book is as catchy as its title. The same is true when selecting a rounding solution. The solution needs to be easy to use, but it also needs to be powerful enough to meet your business needs.
Many rounding solutions are marketed to the healthcare industry as digital, but are only web applications assessable via the internet. Be sure that the tool you are evaluating is actually mobile, meaning there is an app in the store coupled with a web application assessable on your desktop or mobile devices.
Make sure you select a rounding solution that is easy to use, but under the cover can handle tying multiple rounds to a single patient, complex reporting, and trending with dashboards and workflow. Mobile gesturing such as swiping, clicking of icons and voice to text features make adoption fast and easy.
Choose a solution, not a product
You are selecting a new rounding tool because you have a problem to solve. Look for a solution that doesn’t just “work for them”, but rather one that “works for you”. While it is absolutely essential to know if the solution works and if others have seen success, it is also critical to understand that your needs may be different than everyone else’s.
Companies that provide a “product” think they know the best way to do things. They expect you to change your processes to match their solution and limit the changes that can be made to their product. Selecting a “solution” that is adaptive to your current and future needs will provide a greater return on your investment.
Determine if you want a point product that solves one challenge or a solution that can grow and be leveraged for other challenges.
Lauren Walling is a graduate of Emory University with a degree in Industrial Psychology, as well as an MBA from the John Sykes School of Business from The University of Tampa. She currently sits on the Board of Fellows at the University of Tampa, and is a member of the Healthcare Business Women's Association, National Association of Professional Women, and the Morton Plant Skip Cline Society. Lauren works with large Healthcare Systems implementing Patient Experience Solutions that streamline processes, increase patient experience and improve quality and safety.