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How To Ensure the Success of Hospital IT Projects

hospitalDoctors, nurses, and everyone else in the medical field have enough work to do, and most of it is much more important than an IT project. And when that IT project also doesn't promise to save any time — well, that's about the hardest sell you can have in the healthcare industry. According to this article by Fred Bazzoli, however, Cook Children's Medical Center managed to get consistent adoption of a new drug barcode scanner: 

Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, has been able to achieve wide and consistent adoption of a bar-code bedside medication verification system, reporting that more than 97% of medications and patients are scanned before drugs are delivered to patients. That's far above the rates typically achieved at most health care organizations that implement bedside scanning technology. That's because the pediatric facility has been able to instill the importance in front-line caregivers of using the technology to ensure the safety of its tiny patients. The facility also was able to pull together a multi-disciplinary implementation team that had real influence over the project and staying power in continuing to promote the use of the technology.

Selling the project as important not only for the organization but for the ability to do better work is a key factor in adoption and acceptance of a new system. The IT organization of Cook Children's Medical Center was able to convey this value to the staff of the medical center, helping assure the project's success. The project also began with assembling an implementation team made up of key leaders from across the hospital's many departments. The team helped communicate the concerns and questions of each department, helping the implementation process be communicated well and in a way that everyone affected was able to understand. Taking these lessons out of the hospital setting and they are still just as valid: an IT project succeeds because those affected can see the value of the initiative, and the people involved in planning represents those groups.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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