Driving Positive ROI From Your Investment in Digital Health IT Tools: An Interview With Relatient’s Chief Technology Officer

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Choosing the right health IT tools can be complicated and overwhelming.

Innovation has provided Healthcare new technology for solving inefficiencies and gaps in care and communication, but cash flow isn’t infinite and not all technology solutions live up to their promises. So how do you prioritize which gaps to address first, where to direct your resources, and choose winning solutions?

Relatient CTO, Kevin Montgomery, unpacks this very topic with Peter Jacobs in Future Healthcare Today’s Health IT Download, a podcast covering major issues in Healthcare IT with some of the industry’s foremost thought leaders.

Here are some of Kevin’s recommendations (including quotes from his conversation with Peter) for healthcare organizations looking to ensure their investments in Health IT yield positive ROI. 

Look at ROI in three categories—clinical, operational, and financial—before you grab a tool.

Speed is important but not at the cost of ROI. Kevin recommends looking at your gaps and objectives holistically so you don’t inadvertently slow or derail progress in one area while improving another. For larger organizations, it’s not uncommon to have siloed teams unknowingly working to solve similar problems, take a look at who is already evaluating technology and for what purposes. Can you leverage a comprehensive platform that address multiple areas of concern? This will save you time in implementation, setup fees, and integration hassles.

“Let’s decide we’re going to hang a picture on the wall. Management goes out and buys a screwdriver but what they really needed was a hammer. It’s not the tool’s fault that it can’t drive the nail into the wall… We’re trying to solve a problem and we’re quick to grab a tool, but [we’re] not looking at how this tool plays into what we’re trying to solve from an overall perspective.”

Engage your clinical and operational employees in the selection process.

Technology can look promising when evaluated against some criteria and problematic when evaluated against other requirements. This is why it’s so important to have clinicians and administrative staff included during product demos and other decision-making points during the process. Operational and clinical stakeholders can help ensure that the technology you select integrates well with other systems and brings efficiency to their workflows rather than complicating them further. 

“Implementation can affect the usability of [a] tool. If it just doesn’t fit into [staff] workflows, if they can’t make it work and they’re going to have to spend two or three times as long to make [the technology] work for them, it’s just not going to have a positive ROI.”

Stop looking for vendors and start finding partners.

Vendors operate in silos and look solely for how you can bring them revenue. Partners ask questions about your goals, stakeholders, and processes and look for how they can bring you maximum value. Before you send out RFPs, have your team determine what variables you will use to evaluate each solution and complete a side-by-side comparison of each before making a selection. This preserves objectivity and can help ensure the final selection is an organization that can deliver on their promises.

“You need to find partners that have product mixes that will help you obtain overall goals, [instead of] fixing a single problem. And align yourself with forward-thinking companies that adjust their solutions and can incorporate new technologies.”

Want more? You can read Kevin and Peter’s full conversation here or listen the podcast here

Looking for a patient-engagement platform that delivers positive ROI? Check out our new video to see how we’re doing this for hospitals, health systems, medical practices, and healthcare organizations. 

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