4 Tips for Getting Medical Staff Buy-In on New Office Technology

April 21, 2014
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medical staff and new technologyJust utter the words “technological advancements” in some offices, and you’ll be met with looks of fear, frustration, and aversion.

medical staff and new technologyJust utter the words “technological advancements” in some offices, and you’ll be met with looks of fear, frustration, and aversion.

New medical devices and programs are introduced to the market every day, and upgrading your systems can save time and money and change the way your entire office functions. But, for some, technology is an obstacle. Those new gadgets or program updates mean headaches, errors, and steep learning curves. 

How do you get your office on board with new technology? The key lies in understanding and addressing the fears or reservations some workers have with new technology and then investing the time to train staff before any changes go into effect.

The Real Fears Behind Employees’ Tech Anxiety

In the past few decades, medical technology has brought significant changes to the healthcare industry. While most of us can appreciate the life-saving potential of new medications, devices, and procedures, making a big transition in any office is never without its hiccups.

New technology can be a frightening prospect for some employees because it means performing their jobs in a completely different way. They will likely wonder whether the new technology will slow them down, whether it will be difficult to use, or whether their jobs will be in jeopardy if they don’t learn how to use the new device or program quickly. Worse, they may fear that the technology will make their jobs obsolete.

As a leader, it’s important to recognize and validate employees’ fears and reassure them that the technological changes are going to have a positive impact on the office. Stress that training and transitioning will be handled as a team so the whole office can feel comfortable using the new devices and programs.

4 Tips for Implementing New Office Technology 

There are a few simple things you can do as a leader to reassure and motivate your employees during the transition:

1. Educate them on the reasons behind the changes. Office-wide technology improvements aren’t like upgrading your smartphone. There are specific reasons behind purchasing multiple technological devices or programs for an office.

Explain the reasons for the upgrade, as well as the positive changes it will bring. Sharing this information with your staff makes them feel as though they’re part of the decision, rather than having it forced upon them.

You can discuss how medical providers can receive fines and penalties for not adhering to new regulations (such as switching over to electronic health records), or explain the competitive edge that comes with embracing the newest technology.

2. Set aside adequate resources for training. Properly training your staff on any new technology is paramount to a successful transition. Don’t try to breeze through a tutorial in a 30-minute lunch meeting. Allocate enough time for everyone to get comfortable with the equipment or program before you implement it throughout the office.

3. Stick together during training. Physicians and leaders who go through training sessions with their staff present a united front during the transition period. By learning the ins and outs of the technology alongside your employees, you demonstrate that this change affects everyone in the office, not just the frontline staff.

4. Anticipate bumps in the road. Changing anything in a workplace is sure to create some ripples, but new technology can be especially difficult for some people to get the hang of. Just remember to exhibit patience during the training and transition period, and others will follow your lead. When problems occur, address them head-on as a team, rather than letting one worker feel like he or she is failing.

New technology is not everyone’s cup of tea, so introducing new devices or programs into your workplace will likely be met with a little hesitation. However, by properly preparing your staff through clear explanations, training, and support before implementation takes place, you can make the transition as smooth as possible. 

(Confused medical staff? / shutterstock)