Have you ever asked yourself if you really need to perform an oil change in your car? Why do you need an oil change anyway? Well the oil lubricates the engine and carries heat away from your engine. There are thousands of engine components that work together in order to keep your car running, the oil lubricates these components. If we don’t get an oil change as recommended the oil becomes ineffective over time. That all makes sense right? Something we have all accepted and understand is a crucial part of keeping our vehicles running.
What does this have to do with health care technology? Imagine the oil is the technology knowledge of your end users. As we all know work-arounds in the system occur from one office to the next and from one end user to the next end user. Are you one of those few organizations who conduct continuing education on the technology you have implemented? If not, liken that continuing education to the ongoing maintenance of your vehicle.
Now let’s imagine the oil is the application, such as your electronic health record or practice management system. Whenever an organization first implements their EHR or PM they are doing so with limited knowledge of what the application is capable of. Sometimes it is simply because decisions had to be made initially that limited the use of the system. Very few organizations have had the time or resources to dedicate to any amount of time towards system utilization and optimization. However now that we have meaningful use and ICD10 behind us we have reached the time where it is a great opportunity to take a step back and enhance the efficiencies of the system. Ongoing maintenance of the system is just as important as it is with the end users.
Whenever technology plays such a large role, as it does in health care these days, our priorities should include ongoing maintenance