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Implementing Tech without Contributing to Physician Burnout


Healthcare executives must speak with providers before implementing tech into their workflows.

Editor’s note: The following transcription is from an interview with Arthur Harvey, M.S., chief information officer at Boston Medical Center Health System. The interview has been lightly edited for style and clarity.

Some of the stuff that you can do is so simple I'm going to have to ask you to suspend disbelief. First, how about you talk to the providers about what they want? A lot of technology gets imposed upon providers because management at some level says, "We must do this."

Or — and this happens in my shop, too — the decision to do something is on what's easiest for IT. We're not an IT company, we're a hospital. We shouldn't be doing what's easiest for IT, we should make it as easy as possible for our providers to take care of our patients. It's about what's best for the patients. So, if you think about those things when you're designing systems, they will automatically be better.

The other part of that though is, get out there and talk to the providers. One of the biggest things we have done at my institution that has had tremendous results in reducing provider's challenges, is to just round on the units, to send IT people out to go around the units every day or multiple times a week at least and ask them questions about what is it that they actually want.

"What's broken?"

"What's working?"

"Hey doc, what can we do for you today?"

That's been tremendously helpful.

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