Healthcare Executives Continue To Cautiously Adopt New Technology

Bill Petasnick

“Technology driven solutions” remains and will likely continue to remain a buzzword in the healthcare field.  Despite all the hype about transforming American healthcare through technology, as CEO’s we remain skeptical about actually achieving this noble objective. As Robert Pearl recently noted, “American healthcare has been slow and unsteady in embracing new technology.”

According to a September 2014 survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, of nearly 700 industry executives only 27% responded that they seek to be among the first to adopt new technology.   Those who seek this new technology do so for very good reason.  According to that same survey early adopters of technology typically experience better growth and market position than those that wait to adopt new technology. 

If there are clear advantages to adopting the latest and greatest in technology, why do so many executives remain cautious when entering these waters? 

The healthcare leaders I have posed this question to often have the same answer.  Adopting something new is always risky, not only in terms of money but the implementation process.  Healthcare leaders are often left with more questions than answers themselves: How will the staff be impacted?  What if the new technology makes our lives more complicated than before?  How long is implementation truly going to take?

These are all very valid and important questions.  However, we as healthcare leaders need to begin looking past some of our concerns.  In today’s world if you don’t properly adopt technology there is a very strong likelihood that you will be left behind.  Many healthcare executives don’t seem to be concerned about the possibility of being left behind; 35% of those polled in September 2014 wait until technology is established and 35% wait to invest until that technology has been proven.

I am genuinely surprised at my fellow healthcare executives apprehension to adopting new technology.  While I understand their concerns and agree with them because things tend to move at a relatively slow pace in healthcare, we can all do our part in improving the way technology is adopted in today’s very high tech world.  Embracing change is a very important first step in the process.

During the inaugural HX360 Conference scheduled for April 13-14 in Chicago, the primary focus will be on inspiring and facilitating the adoption and use of next generation technologies to improve healthcare delivery.  We look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago and hearing your thoughts on this critical issue facing our field.