Why doctors are reluctant to adopt new technologies

By Brooke Strickland

Utilizing technology in your practice shouldn’t be something scary – it should be something embraced and encouraged, simply because of the ability to significantly improve the coordination of patient care and fuel more positive interactions between doctor and patient. Yet, hospitals, care centers, and other doctor’s practices are slow to adopt new technologies and integrate them into daily use. The goal isn’t just to adopt technology to stay relevant, but instead to leverage technology and to become progressive leaders in the procurement, advancement and delivery of world class patient care.

This begs the question, why are one of the most revered and successful professional classes of society, laggards when it comes to utilizing technology in their practice? According to Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for health information technology… the goal isn’t to just adopt the technology but instead leap forward in care quality, coordination, and patient-centeredness. But, with lack of national broadband Internet access and reluctance about data privacy, providers are simply hesitant to jump into using new technologies.[1] Yet, this is not the best way to grow your practice. Falling behind the times regarding technology adoption is not lost on most patients, event those that are not technologically savvy. They are observing your use of technology even if they are not using technology themselves. This may create seeds of doubt, resulting in the raising of questions about your practice and such sacrilege as questioning your abilities as a doctor or surgeon. Even if a patient decides to go forward with a procedure or consultation this undermines trust and may negatively effect outcomes because confidence in you, your practice and your staff has been eroded.

Understanding the best practices and uses of technology is far from simple and does require effort and organizational restructuring for successful implementation. Moving down the road to technology adoption is often painful and may even be disruptive in the short term. If you’re unsure if technology in your practice is really necessary, look at the trend of using technology in all other fields besides medicine. You’ll see that this is something that every field, at some point or another, will have to come to grips with and start using.

It is true that the adoption of new technology solutions will require changes in the way your practice is run. It often takes a lot of work and dedication to successfully integrate technology into your daily practice routine but the results will speak for themselves. Higher efficiencies, more accurate record keeping, better marketing communications and outreach and the opportunity to obtain and maintain an edge amongst your peers in the medical community is often enough of payback. But in the end, technology solutions that are fulfilling the constant demands to provide the highest level of quality of streamlined patient care are reward enough.


Sources:

[1] Dentzer, Susan. “’Shoo-In’ Strategies Bump Up Against Reality.”