Why Are Canadian Healthcare Organizations Slow to Adopt New Technology?

Courtney Marie L.
January 6, 2017

Mobile devices have changed the way people work – the way we communicate, collaborate and get things done. People in many industries now have tools at work that are as easy to use and enjoyable as the apps they use in their personal lives.

So why are healthcare organizations in Canada still running on paper, fax machines and Excel spreadsheets? Why aren’t they taking advantage of the efficiencies offered by these new technologies?

These are their main concerns, and how we at Dr. Bill are solving these roadblocks for the over <1,000> physicians that use our service:

Privacy & Security

<Data residency – where the data is being stored.>

<Compliance with PIPA, PHIPA and FOIPPA, etc.>

Solution: Ensure that your data is stored only on Canadian servers. This is the recommended approach by the CMA, Doctors of BC and other medical associations.

You should also choose a solution where:

  • Physical access to servers is controlled by key-card access to only those maintaining the equipment.
  • Data stored on the servers is encrypted and accessible only by Grouse Software Labs Inc (Dr. Bill) technical staff.
  • Data is backed up daily to a secure off-site location.
  • All user activity & changes are logged, including those of administrators and employees.

Existing Systems in Place

Practitioners are familiar with their current systems and are resistant to change. This tendency to maintain the status quo is compounded by the heavy and stressful workloads that physicians endure. They don’t have a lot of time and energy to try out new technologies or adopt new processes in their workflows.

Yet by avoiding change, organizations will miss opportunities to increase workflow efficiencies – the kind of improvements that lead to higher quality of care.

Solution: Identify individuals within your organization that are regular users of new technology, and task them with trying out out new solutions. …

Budget Constraints

Health spending in Canada is forecast to reach $228 billion in 2016, which represents about 13% of our entire national GDP. As a result, there is always great scrutiny around healthcare budgets and the spending of health authorities and facilities. This leads to pressure to keep costs low in non-core areas. This typically includes technology and other process improvement projects.

Some organizations are also wary of new technology investments after spending large sums of money on failed IT projects. This is a common issue with enterprise level software solutions that require system-wide adoption in order to be successful.

Solution: Trial cost-effective solutions in small batches, one physician at a time. Providers of ‘software-as-a-service’ or cloud-based software products offer solutions that have very low risk. They don’t require heavy involvement of IT departments to get set up (they are accessed via the web or mobile apps) and they offer non-restrictive pricing, typically on a monthly basis. Your organization could trial a service for one month – and if it doesn’t work, just cancel!

How to Fix It

(summarize solutions from each section)

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