Introducing Digital Tools to Healthcare Staff

Written by the Siilo team.

One thing this year’s pandemic has shown very clearly is that well-functioning digital communication has become a necessity. Be it in hospitals or any other institution, when everyday work is facilitated by intuitive tools that promote collaboration and knowledge exchange, results can exceed previously known thresholds.

A very important question many institutions face when it comes to introducing new digital tools to their staff is the matter of “how”: how to find the most suitable tool; how to implement it in their environment; and, most importantly, how to motivate their staff to use it correctly?


Considering Social Change

As sociologist and behavioral scientist Paul R. Lawrence already ascertained five decades ago, “it is useful […] to think of changes as having both a technical and a social aspect”. Before starting detailed research processes about the technicalities of the digital tools in question it might, therefore, be of help to speak to members of the staff. As their daily workflow will be altered by the introduction of a new tool, it is likely that they can offer useful insights necessary for finding software that caters to their needs. 

Additionally, incorporating staff members in the process and listening to their input will heighten their sense of participation which, in turn, has proven to lead to less resistance to technical change. 


Strategize It!

Once established which software fits the needs of an organisation most, it is necessary to be strategic about the introduction. As with any other major undertaking, a well-briefed project management team that is familiar with the tool will be of help in setting up a project plan, a timeline for the roll-out and targets to be reached. 

The most well-planned project, however, is likely to fail if communication with the people affected is unclear or non-transparent. The social aspect of technological change is to be kept in mind throughout the whole process. 


Practice Makes Perfect

The last – and likely most important – step of introducing a new digital tool in any institution is to make sure it is used correctly. Whether it was implemented to increase the efficiency of workflows, to facilitate collaboration, or to pool vital data, it will only unfold its full potential when all staff members are aware of its correct utilization. By offering regular training sessions for various skill levels, an institution can ensure that all users will reach adequate proficiency over time. For example, when Siilo, a secure medical messaging app, is introduced to a medical organisation or hospital as a communications and collaboration platform, Siilo’s well-trained experts will offer support by providing training resources and designed assets to roll out to all staff. Having this additional support can make or break technology adoption, particularly in healthcare.

As always when it comes to familiarization with novelties, however, patience and the setting of realistic goals are vital to keeping staff members motivated in working with the new digital tool. 


Patience is a Virtue

The full process from finding to finally working with a new digital tool may take a considerable amount of time. It is not a decision to be taken lightly and nothing that can be introduced to an organisation over night. However, considerate research, a well-planned implementation of the tool, and training staff members in its correct use will pay off. Patience is a virtue. Your efforts will pay off in the end.