The relentless flow of new technologies can seem overwhelming, but the healthcare sector must embrace opportunities for advancement, according to Jolanda Clement, a content strategist at Siilo:
Achieving the full potential for technological development in healthcare is currently beyond any hospital’s scope to manage. Technologies have advanced far ahead of our regulatory institutions’ ability to validate and approve them. As soon as one ICT application or device has been implemented and standardised, the next generation has already been launched.
Healthcare professionals are often, quite understandably, overwhelmed by the pace of technological change being introduced at their institutions, and some resistance is inevitable. One area where technology has been embraced with considerable success across the sector is communications. Instant messaging tools, in particular, are seeing rapid adoption. The same technology that allows us to have quick conversations with friends, and exchange photos and videos with family members, has obvious utility in the workplace – it therefore stands to reason that healthcare professionals are adopting these tools to tackle patient-care communications with colleagues.
The evidence of this can be demonstrated by Siilo – Europe’s largest medical messenger service which is fully compliant with GDPR and medical legislation. Driven by the need for secure information sharing and faster decision-making in response to Covid-19, UK adoption of Siilo has outpaced the global average by 113% since the pandemic first took hold, and there are now more than 27,500 Siilo users across the UK’s healthcare sector.
There are valuable best practice lessons which can be taken from the experiences of companies like Siilo for the successful adoption of other technologies. First and foremost, this includes the need to have a solid change management plan in place to drive employee engagement – employees have to be part of the planning as much as the execution.
Generally speaking, adaptations to technology also tend to go more smoothly when applied from the ‘bottom up’. This is done by assigning and engaging ‘change champions’. Any additional incentive, such as introducing an element of positive competition between departments, can make all the difference. The key overriding factor remains: be the lead on the timeline and rules of (data) safety, but let your employees decide how to run the show.
A good example of best practice was seen at Rivas Zorggroep. Based in The Netherlands, the organisation provides integrated care at hospitals, home-nursing, rehabilitation and residential centres. When Rivas Zorggroep trialled Siilo, they made a list of their wishes and goals from the outset.
A clear communication and adaptation strategy was adopted which emphasised the value and usage of Siilo. This helped to ensure the implementation process went smoothly, as did the appointment of a single point of contact for any questions or concerns – this same “champion” personally approached colleagues and partners to encourage participation.
This pro-active and personal approach resulted in the messenger app’s success within the organisation. Since the start of the trial in 2021, the number of users has almost doubled, in addition to a corresponding growth in interactions – the number of messages exchanged each month is more than 650,000.
Siilo has found that if an organisation implements successfully and makes its technology an integral part of its day-to-day structure, it usually finds a monthly active user base of 75% of their onboarded members, which is really impressive. Every adoption of a new technology is different, and every organisation has its own challenges. However, the principles of delivering change remain essentially the same.