Five steps to successfully implement a patient engagement solution in Canadian hospitals
June 23, 2021 – Written by Zayyan Chowdhury, HealthHub Solution’s Director Quality, PMO and Governance
When it comes to improving a patient’s hospital experience, choosing the ideal digital health solution is a critical first step. The right solution has the power and potential to help patients actively participate and manage their own healthcare plan, placing them on track for better health outcomes.
However, true value is only unlocked when the solution is implemented successfully. It’s easy to get caught up in the promise of new technology, but if the roll out is lacking in collaboration and communication, it’s near impossible to achieve transformative outcomes.
That’s why our team at HealthHub Solutions carefully considers all our client’s unique needs and integrates them into our proven, client-centric implementation process. Our business goes well beyond simply being a technology vendor and, instead, we partner with Canadian hospitals to co-design innovative patient engagement solutions.
We begin our process with an assessment of the hospital’s current state and future goals. From there, we hold a visioning session with stakeholders to develop a shared picture of the future. Next, we take these learnings and use them to craft the right solution and implementation process.
We consider all aspects – from technical integrations to user training to unique timeline dependencies and more – to ensure a smooth implementation process. We know from experience that patient engagement is only as good as the technology and processes that enable it.
Here is a look at five key steps to a successful implementation:
1. Assemble a dedicated implementation team
At HealthHub Solutions, our project management team leads our implementation processes. From preparing the project plan and organizing weekly status meetings, to ensuring adequate training and closing out the implementation, this team is dedicated to ensuring that goals identified during the visioning session are brought to life. Going well beyond simply managing timelines, our project management team acts as the main point of contact and lead to:
- Manage all resources to maintain the project scope, schedule and budget
- Evaluate priorities and control the scope through a change order process
- Coordinate tasks between all teams involved for a successful execution
- Review project goals post-implementation
- Close the project
Working closely alongside our project management team are our technical consultants. These professionals are key to a successful implementation and so are “on the ground” throughout the entire project to:
- Co-design and develop the solution infrastructure
- Document the system design and specifications
- Configure, test and install the solution
2. Prepare staff for change
We know from experience that change management is necessary to properly execute an implementation. Our goal is to have clinical staff and patients experience the benefits and value of a new patient engagement solution as soon as it is ready to use.
At HealthHub Solutions, we provide a package to the hospital’s onsite communications team with recommendations for when and how to communicate the change with the staff and patients. This is based on our experiences and is tailored to fit each hospital’s unique needs. Our project management team also provides training for clinical staff that covers:
- Benefits of adoption
- Effects on day-to-day tasks and interactions with patients
- Value for patients
- How to use the solution
3. Minimize roadblocks and disruptions
During the installation phase, our team first conducts an onsite audit and assesses the current state to gain a full understanding for implementation. With the aim of identifying potential roadblocks, they collect all relevant information that could affect the implementation, such as Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) protocols or hospital-specific infrastructure requirements.
Following the assessment phase, our team then initiates pre-installation preparation activities, which includes the acquisition of required materials, offsite configuration of equipment, initial setup of the solution, testing, and preparation of materials for shipping. Special attention is paid to this step and as much work as possible is completed offsite ahead of the installation to minimize hospital operation disruptions.
After this is complete, the onsite implementation will occur. This includes deployment of network infrastructure, in-room arms and terminals; initializing the software platform and applications; performing quality control checks; and, finally, conducting the launch.
4. Monitor for satisfaction and adoption
After the solution has been deployed and stakeholders have received training, we conduct a post-installation survey to measure project satisfaction with all the client stakeholders involved. It’s important to pay close attention to adoption and success rates, especially in the early days.
At HealthHub Solutions, we assign a Customer Success Manager to each client to ensure support resources are available after launch for clinicians, patients and their families. Our team also remotely monitors the solution 24/7 to proactively identify and resolve issues to avoid service interruptions.
5. Foster a continual improvement mindset
We see the deployment of our patient engagement solution as just the beginning of our relationship with a hospital. We pride ourselves on being a long-term partner and we value a continual improvement mindset. Many times, after an implementation, hospitals will realize the benefit of a new feature and decide they want to expand its capabilities. For this reason, we approach app and feature development as an ongoing, collaborative process that evolves as the needs of clinicians and patients changes.
In conclusion, the selection of a new digital health solution is only half the process. Implementation is where the true value is derived. That’s why roll out is a critical component of digital transformation, and one not to be overlooked – especially when patient experience and care delivery is involved.
To learn more about HealthHub’s implementation support, please visit https://healthhubsolutions.ca/how-we-work/