What makes or breaks the successful adoption of new technology at your surgery center? ASCs are consistently being pushed to move in the direction of streamlined, paperless workflows, and Administrators have never been more integral to the on-boarding process. In this post, we’ll review the top 3 reasons that ASCs fail at technology adoption and what can be done to prevent embarking upon a potentially costly project that returns very little ROI.

Lack of End User Buy-in

Often, a decision to purchase new technology is pushed down from the top of the organization and the staff impacted by this change are not brought into the process early on. In order to ensure a successful go-live, end users should be pulled into the sales process to collaborate in the decision making, allowing them to begin turning the wheels about how the new technology will help to improve their specific workflows. The earlier your end users are brought into the project, the more likely they are to buy into the entire process and take ownership throughout implementation.

End users who feel that their current daily workflows were not taken into consideration will be less likely to embrace new routines or tweak existing ones. Some may resist using the technology altogether, which completely counteracts the intention that brought about the change. Appointing a super-user or champion of the product who participated in the decision-making process could set you up for success in the long run.


Missing Product Champion

The successful adoption of technology is not only dependent upon end user buy-in, but also requires the support and leadership of a product champion or super-user. If implementation is everyone’s job, it actually ends up being no one’s job. Because your clinical staff are probably already overwhelmed with work, it is important that you choose a champion who is excited about the possibilities that this new product has to offer and eager to lead the charge in learning the technology, then adapting workflows to fit the needs of the center.

The chosen champion should act as the vendor’s main point of contact throughout on-boarding and will serve as the go-between from staff to vendor. It is crucial that the champion is very familiar with both the pros and pain points of the current processes. He or she should be able to wholly understand and communicate the importance of implementing and embracing new procedures where necessary.

When it comes to choosing your champion, it may serve you well to look for a relatively new employee who is eager to prove their worth to the organization by taking on special projects and leading their co-workers into a new, exciting journey. You may also have someone in mind that stands out among the rest in terms of technology adoption and willingness to take on new challenges. This person will be integral to the post go-live process when end-users begin using the system and anticipated workflow challenges present themselves.


Getting Stuck in Transition

When adopting new technologies, the biggest obstacles tend to arise after the implementation is completed and the center is actually live. Software training is often held remotely and only allows end-users to see how the technology will work in a perfect scenario. While remote training sessions can be useful for providing the fundamental knowledge that is necessary for success, the most meaningful learning will happen in real-time, as staff come to encounter specific, sometimes complex, scenarios that are typical occurrences in any ASC. These are the moments when your end-users will feel the need to revert back to their old workflow and abandon the new one required for the technology to work. The champion, along with the help of the vendor, should be able to help end-users resist the urge of falling back into old habits (no matter how many add-on patients were put on the schedule that day).

The transition period can be stretched out for months (even years) if the ASC takes a lackadaisical approach to go-live. Although the transition can feel more painful when making the most impactful workflow changes in one fell swoop, it may never end if you attempt to just slowly phase out the old process over time. You may end up with some staff using the new workflow while others stick to the old, which leads to serious inefficiencies and the potential for fatal errors.

What happens during these seemingly trivial moments is what sets a successful ASC apart from the rest. When your clinicians become frustrated, tired, and ready to give up, there is nothing to keep them from doing so if they don’t have a proponent to help them over the hump. This is when they need to be reminded of why the new technology was purchased and how it will help them in the long run. While new technologies can be hard to adapt to from the outset, support from the appropriate team players can be the key element that prevents resistance to change and lack of adoption.