Please Share Feedback

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let us know what you think on our Forum.

To contact us privately, please use our contact form.

Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
October 29, 2003

There is an excellent article in the October 2003 Advance for Health Information Executives about IT collaborating with physicians.

The article details the importance of working together, trusting each other, and talking the same language.

An excerpt from the article:
Here are some rules of thumb:

  1. Communication. Open communication in every direction is essential. Communication must be built into the planning process from the earliest stage. A careful study of workflow often reveals that many departments - plus entities outside the provider organization (such as referring physicians) - are affected, even when the implementation appears limited to one department or group. Communication enables this web of interrelated workflow processes to be recognized by all parties and fully understood from the outset, eliminating many costs, delays and conflicts down the road.

  2. Vision. Develop a shared vision of the future over the long run, not just a single project. What will the medical practice look like in the digital age five or 10 years from now? What will patient care be like? Administration? IT? What can be done now to lay the groundwork for the future?

  3. Accountability. Develop timelines and consensus on deliverables in terms of who, what, when, and where. Set specific milestones for planning and implementation, and draw clear lines of accountability for each assigned task.

  4. Distribution. Share the load. Assignments for planning and delivery must be spread around. Burdening one person or department merely scavenges time and resources from other critical pursuits.

  5. Specialization. Stay within your area of expertise. Even tech-savy physicians shouldn't try to do IT, while IT professionals shouldn't make unilateral decisions that affect patient care.

I think this article can be applied to any relationship with users and IT.

Communication is a rule of thumb, and a meaningful communication mechanism should be established. Also being aware of the audience you are communicating with is important, and don't overwhelm the user with techno-babble. If the user is overwhelming you with professional jargon, ask them to explain it in laymen's terms.

Strategy is the vision that is going to help the business grow with IT advancements. Lay the strategies on the table so that all are aware, don't keep it locked in an email somewhere. People like to know they are working on something for a greater purpose.

Accountability is absolutely necessary to get any collaboration going. How can you believe someone when something never gets done? I would add have support from management, that if someone is assigned to a task they will have time to do it. If something crops up and the timeline will be delay, immediately relay that fact to the other members of the implementation team.

Distribution of work is extremely important. Not only does it help in building a team atmosphere. If you have one person, doing several projects for several different departments, nothing ever gets done.

Respect specialization. If a person does something for 8 - 12 hours a day presently, respect that they are the experts in the area. If you use to do it, but haven't for years, ask the person who currently does. If you dabble in it, respect the person who makes a living off of it.

Subscribe and Share!

Did you enjoy this article? Your feedback is very important! I'd like to invite you to keep up to date with the latest posts from Anticlue. We offer several venues. If you have some questions, help can be found here.

0 Comments to “Collaborating with Clinicians”

« How things change XML and Access 2002 »

Please share your thoughts and suggestions