Why Healthcare Technology is Never a Purchase
It’s a fair bet that no patient has ever gone to their healthcare provider and said, “I need to buy an x-ray” or “I’m shopping for casts.” People go to the emergency room, or make an appointment to see their doctor, because they have a problem. They might be experiencing pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, or another pressing issue. And while ultimately there will be payment for services and products, most medical professionals would never consider their patients to be customers. Rather, patients go to their healthcare provider, the medical expert, to diagnose and advise them of what they need to treat their symptoms, to cure their illness, and solve their problem.
There’s a strong parallel between this relationship and the one between a healthcare provider and their technology provider. While one is the expert in patient treatment, the other is the expert in healthcare technology, services, and products.
For doctors and others in the healthcare environment, this is a very good thing. Healthcare technology has become extremely complex with rapid innovation, as the Internet of Things (aka IoT) and new products are entering the market at a swift pace. Each new product offers a long list of features and benefits, all of which sound useful and advantageous. Yet medical organizations’ budgets are limited, and more importantly, so is their time. It would be easy to spend their entire budget on some highly touted new technology, only to have it sit in a storeroom unused because no one has the time or knowledge to implement it properly.
This challenge is compounded when you consider the different areas of emerging technology and innovation that are now changing the healthcare landscape. These include:
- • Patient communications
- • Record keeping
- • Visitor management
- • Patient intake
- • Asset tracking
- • Security
- • Lab management
- • Data security
- • Facility safety
Falling behind in any of these areas puts a facility at a disadvantage when it comes to patient acquisition and care, not to mention talent acquisition, funding, and other important operational functions.
To make sure they are keeping pace with new capabilities, healthcare providers must put themselves first, by making themselves the patient. Rather than thinking about what they might purchase, they should think about what their problems are. Do they need an easier way for patients to communicate with their doctors without having to come into the office or hospital? A better way to make sure only authorized visitors gain access to patients’ rooms? Are they concerned they may be falling short in compliance to regulations and are at risk for fines? Or, do they just see the many possibilities offered by new technology and want to jump in, but need to be sure they have a solution that functions well, has interoperable systems, is easy for their staff to use, and doesn’t overtax their budget?
For you, as an integrator, this is a key element in working with the healthcare vertical. When you think about the technology products and services healthcare providers might need for their facility, try to stop thinking about it in terms of what they might purchase. Instead, focus on the problems they are trying to solve, as if you were listening to your patient. With that information, work with a healthcare technology provider like ScanSource, who has expertise and experience you can trust. Together, we will help you to guide your healthcare customers to the best possible solution.
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