A few days ago at a business lounge, I saw a fellow business traveler carrying 3 mobile phones, each a different make and model. Turns out, he maintains 3 mobile numbers, each from a different country because he needs to stay in regular contact with people in these countries.
The thing is, I too maintain 3 mobile numbers, each also from a different country (Singapore, China and USA) but I carry only 1 mobile phone with all three numbers active concurrently, all able to make, receive calls & SMS.
In all honesty, I cannot imagine how one would try to carry 3 mobile phones at the same time, trying to remember which ringtone belongs to which phone (so one can retrieve the right phone to answer the call) nor the need to carry 3 chargers and maybe 3 spare batteries / mobile power bank etc.
So what is my point exactly? Well, the above scenario illustrates what I call a successful implementation but non-sustainable adoption.
Now what has this have anything to do with Health Informatics? Well, such implementations are very common in the world of Health Informatics with millions of healthcare organisations proudly proclaiming successful implementation (which makes nice case studies and/or press releases) but in reality, they are suffering from non-sustainable adoption, which often results in on-ground complains that Health IT (including technology, standards etc.) just isn’t “there yet” (it really is a lose-lose situation).
But as one can see from the “3 mobile numbers” example above, the problem is not with the technology nor the industry standards, it is how the technology and standards are used. This brings me to the topic of Workflow and I invite you to read this article written back in May 2013 to illustrate what exactly is Workflow.
Once you read the above article, ask yourself this question – Did you really understand what Workflow was prior to reading the article? Many people have read that article or heard me present the topic at regional conferences or at universities and the feedback received are pretty much the same – they never truly understand what workflow (in healthcare) really means until they read the article or heard me explain it.
The problem is, most individuals implementing Health IT solutions never had the chance to work with real Health Informaticians. Although many people carry the job title, most of them are actually IT, Health IT or clinical professionals (Health IT is not Health Informatics) and in the land of the blind, these “one-eye king” rules.
The sad part is, many ‘experts’ providing Health Informatics training are the said “one-eye kings”. You know what is sadder? These “one-eye kings” actually (truly) think Health IT is a synonym of Health Informatics (If an ‘expert’ has never worked in a clinical environment or tells you his/her best excuse for the lack of real-world experience is his/her “passion” for Health Informatics, stay away from the person, far far away.)
Back to the topic of Workflow. By virtue of having read the article above, you are already in many sense, more of an expert that these ‘one-eye kings’. However, knowing how to identify workflow is just the first step, what is more important is the ability to achieve Effective Workflow (Scenario 2 in the article ).
If you truly wish to “Bridge the eHealth Divide”through sustainable innovation in patient-centered care to achieve context-effective adoption of Digital Health in your environment, I encourage you sign-up for BinaryHealthCare’s signature course:
The Mini-HI (Mini Health Informatician).
Do you want to be an Enabler? The choice is yours.
More details pertaining to the Mini-HI is available at http://www.MiniHI.net