June 8th, 2015 – So you’ve figured out your problem: Your end users are unhappy, and not without reason. Perhaps they are frustrated with the number of clicks it takes to enter patient data, with how much lag time there is when accessing multiple applications, or with clinical workstations and devices are inconsistent. In fact, you have heard them voice their opinion more than once about icons moving and not being able to find their app. And if it’s all of these, you’re probably pretty overwhelmed, and the lost revenue and dissatisfied patients are hard to ignore. Whew! Where do you start?
You can start right here, with this step-by-step guide to address poor end user experience in virtual clinical environments. Improved clinician productivity and patient satisfaction are right around the corner.
Step 1: Analyze your clinical workflow.
Start with a thorough analysis of your clinicians’ workflow. This is the dirty work – it means you need to get in the trenches with your users and see how they use (or don’t use) the technology. The reality is that your IT team is probably too involved in the nitty-gritty to see this clearly, so this analysis is most easily done by an independent third party. By analyzing your clinical workflow, you’ll figure out how technology is either an enabler or a blockade to productivity and patient care.
Step 2: Find out where your holes are.
After you dig in and understand your clinical workflow, this next step is pretty clear. Where are your loopholes? Find out exactly where your users are circumventing the system. Are they sharing passwords or avoiding using certain applications altogether? Your clinicians will do whatever it takes to get their job done, including workarounds that can introduce security violations into the system (at worst) and create major inefficiencies (at best).
Step 3: Rank inconsistencies by criticality.
Which of these loopholes that you’ve discovered is the most urgent? Of course, you’ll want to address all of them eventually, but first you need to prioritize. Consider what is most important to your organization – these inconsistencies could be related to security, technology, policies, or processes. Create a list so you know what to attack first.
Step 4: Create a game plan to fix it.
Your plan should leverage new technology to create the biggest bang for the buck. What will most immediately address your most glaring security and productivity loopholes? A good technology company will help you put together a game plan, and execute it.
Step 5: Don’t lose focus — keep your eye on the ball.
One last thing: Once you’ve been through this process, you can avoid having to do it all over again by asking for feedback from your end users on a continual basis. Set up an internal forum of your end users to discuss how they’re doing once a month. You’ll be able to address any issues that come up before they become multi-headed monsters, and your clinicians will be delighted to have the opportunity to provide real time feedback that allows them to be better at their jobs.
The process in action: Munson Healthcare
Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Michigan, had been growing fast, and had a hodgepodge of applications and technology to show for it. A clinical workflow analysis showed that their 3,600 clinicians had to log in to up to 12 different applications, each with different passwords, every time they saw a patient. Lag time and redundancy was a hindrance to productivity, and so the first priority was to create a virtual infrastructure that would meet user needs and eliminate these inefficiencies.
The Munson team conducted use case interviews with everyone from physicians to social workers, which allowed them to create six or seven key user environments and one standardized desktop that could be configured for those different user groups.Ultimately, Munson’s project IT team worked with Coretek to design and implement a highly flexible, virtual desktop system.
The results? Munson was able to provide a fully de-coupled virtualized desktop, user, and application delivery environment that could be quickly (5-15 seconds) accessed and roam seamlessly between devices. Three months after deployment, Munson’s clinician satisfaction rate, which had been at an abysmal 20%, skyrocketed to 80%. Users who didn’t have access to the virtual desktop were requesting it.
Problem solved: happy end users, satisfied patients, and a more nimble and efficient organization.
And you can get started right now.