I am excited to announce new research on clinical workforce technologies. Our interviews with health systems revealed early on the need for a report that highlights the top tech categories and one that looks at tech implementation and clinician adoption. The interviews were so fruitful that we also developed a Clinician Workforce Technology Implementation Checklist. This checklist guides healthcare leaders to use seven implementation categories when planning for and tracking the progress of clinical workforce technologies.

Through my discussions with health systems on clinician-focused technology, I heard perspectives not often considered, including these takeaways:

  • Tech blurs the lines of accessibility. There is, quite frankly, a fear especially among physicians of being too accessible. Our tech report highlights the benefits of clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) platforms; however, there are challenges to getting doctors on the same page and using CC&C platforms with other clinicians. Resistance can seem unnecessary at first, but physicians already feel pulled in a thousand directions. The idea that a colleague can contact you when you’re not at work or anytime during the day is understandably daunting. It may add also to the mounting pressure to be responsive to other people’s needs. You can see how some physician groups’ refusal to use CC&C platforms prevents maximizing their clinical impact in health systems. CC&C platforms require limitations and expectations prior to implementation. 
  • Some health systems give clinicians license to innovate. An underlying theme in some (but not all) interviews for this research was the inclusion of clinicians in choosing and experimenting with technology. In these instances, clinical leaders are intentional in encouraging clinicians to play around with new tech, find flaws or gaps in the tools, and consider new use cases. Usually, an organized committee or group of clinicians volunteered to participate in these exploratory efforts. These leaders reported higher satisfaction with and utilization of the tools.
  • Organization-wide owners of population health are missing. It’s no secret that social determinants of health (SDOH) data is difficult for health systems to capture. It’s also no secret that configuring this data would provide incredible insights. Yet, what is noticeably missing is an overarching process and owner of SDOH data and insights within these organizations. This misalignment makes collecting SDOH data sporadic and inconsistent and its use unclear to patients. If a health system wants to win the race of capitalizing on SDOH and stand out among the competition, its messaging must be clear and concise. It must also designate a population health owner who connects the dots throughout the organization. 

Should you wish to discuss our findings further and you’re a client, schedule a guidance session or inquiry with me. Not a Forrester client? Contact your Forrester account team and tell them, “I want Forrester Decisions!