Assignment: Clinical Technology Implementations
One school of thought suggests that technology should be designed to meet the needs of clinical workflow ( Yuan et al., 2013 ). This model implies that system analysts have a high degree of control over screen layout and data capture. It also implies that technology is malleable enough to allow for the flexibility to adapt to a variety of workflow scenarios. Lessons learned from more than three decades of clinical technology implementations suggest that clinical technologies still have a long way to go on the road to maturity to allow this to be possible. The second and probably most prevalent thought process is that workflow should be adapted to the use of technology. Today, this is by far the most commonly used model given the progress of clinical technology. Bucur et al. ( 2016 ) developed clinical models to support clinical decision making that were inserted into the workflow models. This system integrates a workflow suite and functionality for the storage, management, and execution of clinical workflows and for the storage of traces of execution. The knowledge models are integrated and run from the workflow to support decisions at the right point in the clinical process (Bucur et al., p. 152). The ability to track and assess decision making throughout a clinical course of care for a patient will enhance our knowledge and improve patient care.
A concept that has gained popularity in recent years relative to workflow redesign is clinical transformation. Clinical transformation is the complete alteration of the clinical environment and, therefore, this term should be used cautiously to describe redesign efforts. Earl, Sampler, and Sghort ( 1995 ) define transformation as “a radical change approach that produces a more responsive organization that is more capable of performing in unstable and changing environments that organizations continue to be faced with” (p. 31). Many workflow redesign efforts are focused on relatively small changes and not the widespread change that accompanies transformational activities. Moreover, clinical transformation would imply that the manner in which work is carried out and the outcomes achieved are completely different from the prior state—which is not always true when the change simply involves implementing technology. Technology can be used to launch or in conjunction with a clinical transformation initiative, although the implementation of technology alone is not perceived as transformational.
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