Live from HIMSS13 – Day One Recap

by | Mar 4, 2013

HIMSS session – Driving change at Kaiser Permanente

I just had the pleasure of sitting in a session at HIMSS in New Orleans that was presented by Kaiser Permanente during the Nursing Informatics Symposium. KP is always very cutting edge and the presenters, Julie Vilardi (RN, MS) and Ann O’Brien (RN, MSN, CPHIMS) had a session loaded with excellent insights and take-aways.

The session was tantilizingly titled “Leveraging Technology to Drive Transformational Change,” which caught my eye. I picked up practical nuggets that reinforced for me the value of change management and the importance of including nursing in overall technology designs.

There was one specific slide that stuck with me as valuable not just in healthcare clinical systems but also in workforce management and in other industries. It was about the evolution of KP’s methods for implementing HIT (that’s “Healthcare Information Technology”).

They broke out the method into three iterations. (Note that I’m summarizing these in my own words for purposes of this blog. They had a lot more detail.)

1. Old-School (Good): Technology-driven method.
2. State of the Industry (Better): Process-driven method.
3. State of the Art (Best): Benefit-driven method.

The point of this was to talk about how you get good solutions by approaching the change or system implementation from a standpoint of what the technology can do and taking advantage of its functionality. And you can get even better solutions by approaching it from a process perspective and optimizing/improving processes with the technology. But to get the best solutions, you must first start with what the desired benefits of the change are and, with those benefits in mind, you design processes and leverage the technology to achieve the end goal.

It’s not rocket science, but it is profound. I know from experience it is so easy for organizations, any organization in any industry, to get distracted by bells and whistles of the new system and let the technology drive the approach. Or the organization may tackle change from a process standpoint and have that drive the change. (I’m guilty of this myself upon occasion. Maybe it’s the influence of my Six Sigma and Lean training!) But if you want the best possible implementation, you have to start with the end goal in mind–the benefits of why you are making the change–and make everything else fall in line to achieve that goal.

I hope you got as much out of my abbreviated notes as I did from this session.

I’m making notes of other gems I hear at the HIMSS conference. Follow me on Twitter @FlandersChris or @Axsium to see more of them! 

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