This is What Stanford Discovered From a Failed Tech Pilot

About 70% of hospital IT pilots fail or face main challenges, in keeping with research from the Standish Group. However it is rather uncommon for hospitals to debate these setbacks or share research of implementations that didn’t go as deliberate.

Two nurse leaders bucked that development by sharing an attention-grabbing story throughout a Thursday session on the annual HIMSS conference in Chicago. Monique Lambert and Nerissa Ambers — each senior managers of nursing innovation at informatics at Stanford Well being Care — argued that challenge failure is nothing to be ashamed of as a result of it could actually train hospitals helpful classes about what they want for know-how initiatives to thrive sooner or later.

In Lambert’s view, failure is inevitable relating to healthcare know-how pilots. She joked that “the finest approach to keep away from the failure of digital well being tasks is by avoiding them within the first place.”

However not working digital well being pilots is out of the query given the potential for good. So what must be executed?

When it turns into obvious {that a} pilot isn’t figuring out the best way the hospital had hoped, Lambert inspired the group in control of the challenge to “undertake a recovery-oriented mindset.” On this state of affairs, the objective must be extracting as a lot data as potential whereas the pilot remains to be ongoing.

She and Ambers shared an instance of a failed well being IT pilot from 2019 that they had been concerned in at Stanford. The well being system had got down to create a modernized tech hub for its inpatients — the concept was to consolidate sufferers’ contact factors right into a single tablet-like gadget in order that they may work together with all their in-room know-how extra seamlessly.

The gadget allowed sufferers to do a wide range of issues, reminiscent of management the window shades and think about the each day menu. Sufferers may additionally use the gadget to make nurse calls and allow them to know what their particular request is, whether or not it was for ache remedy, ice chips or a visit to the toilet.

Often, nurse calls go to the unit secretary, who has to determine what the affected person wants and which nurse is offered to take care of them. The objective with the brand new affected person hub was to eradicate calls to the unit secretary for generally requested gadgets, Lambert defined.

Three weeks into the pilot, the nursing informatics group’s knowledge confirmed that solely a pair calls had been made on the gadgets. The group then found that a lot of the affected person hub gadgets that they had put in in rooms had been fully unused. 

“There’s no knowledge as a result of no person’s truly utilizing it. And so that you attain this level of, ‘Okay, what are we doing? How can we repair this? Folks aren’t utilizing it — how will we make them use it? How can we rescue this challenge?’” Ambers stated.

The nursing informatics group discovered that nurses had been method too busy to teach sufferers about methods to work together with the gadget. So the group began going into sufferers’ rooms to introduce them to the affected person hub.

In lots of the rooms that the group went into, the gadget had by no means been activated, Lambert stated. 

Staffing ranges for nurses are dangerously low, so that they don’t have time to arrange gadgets for these sufferers. However sufferers require a great deal of hand-holding to successfully use the affected person hub — many inpatients are older, on heavy remedy or simply got here out of surgical procedure, so that they aren’t precisely the sharpest they’ve ever been, Lambert identified.

“You need to stroll up subsequent to anyone and stroll them by it very slowly to allow them to have the expertise with know-how — in order that they’ll expertise the magic. That was one thing that we came upon,” she declared.

However having a member of the nurse informatics group within the room to orient every new affected person to the gadget isn’t possible. Neither is requiring nurses to reset the gadget each time the room will get a brand new affected person, Ambers stated.

When a brand new affected person comes right into a room, the nurse must wipe the gadget and manually reactivate it, spending quarter-hour or so doing issues like choosing language preferences, coming into affected person data and ready for recalibration.

“If we put that sort of a burden onto a nurse who’s doing one million different issues, it’s most likely not going to be the best precedence for them to say ‘Let me be sure this gadget is wiped in order that I can then introduce it to the affected person,’” Ambers defined.

After the 90-day proof-of-concept pilot, the group realized that the know-how merely didn’t match into nurses’ workflows. However they didn’t write off the pilot as an embarrassing experiment that they need to erase from their reminiscence. As a substitute, they considered it as a studying expertise that gave the hospital data about what it must do sooner or later to assist know-how tasks produce desired outcomes.

“Generally failure is the proof it’s worthwhile to exhibit what’s required to succeed,” Lambert defined.

Image: Mykyta Dolmatov, Getty Pictures