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More than 1/3 of healthcare employees say technology is a frustration, new Eagle Hill research finds

Tech aggravation can harm employee, customer experience and healthcare business results

Arlington, Va., June 8, 2021 – Thirty-seven percent of healthcare workers say technology frustrates them, while nearly one in five (19 percent) indicate that technology does not help them be productive at work, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting. These findings come as healthcare companies are making massive technology investments to improve productivity and efficiency, the quality of healthcare, and patient experiences.

The research also indicates that more than a quarter (28%) of healthcare employees do not believe their company gives them the technology training needed for success. And one-quarter of healthcare employees say they lack the skills to succeed in an increasingly technologically advanced workplace.

The findings are contained in the Eagle Hill Consulting Healthcare Employees Experience Survey 2021, conducted by Ipsos in January 2021. Read the research here.

“In today’s tech-driven society, providers and healthcare organizations simply cannot serve patients well when there are significant gaps in employees’ technology experience,” says Sridhar Karimanal, who leads Eagle Hill Consulting’s health and life sciences practice. “It’s almost impossible to fully engage the healthcare workforce in delivering better patient outcomes when technology is a hinderance rather than a help.” 

“The value of healthcare technology hinges on employees adopting and embracing it in their daily responsibilities. Technology change is all about fundamentally changing employees’ ingrained behaviors that result in better patient care while also driving cost savings,” Karimanal explained. 

The research finds that:

  • 37 percent of healthcare employees are frustrated with technology.
  • 42 percent say that technology either does nothing to enable them to be happy in their job or makes work harder.
  • 26 percent indicate that technology at work either does not help them or makes it harder to serve customers—both internal and external.
  • 28 percent do not believe that their company gives them the technology training they need to succeed.

“What we are seeing is that even though technology adoption methods—such as patient-centricity, usability, human factors, training, and communication—are well-understood conceptually and have been used for years, healthcare providers find it challenging to implement these methods in a practical manner,” said Karimanal. “This is especially difficult for organizations with legacy technology infrastructures, organizational silos, and decentralized operations. As a result, technology change initiatives are often an isolated, temporary, and disconnected series of events and the bigger picture objectives of achieving successful transformation and healthcare technology change adoption can be missed.” 

Healthcare companies can drive employee technology adoption and maximize value by:

  • Recognizing that technology is pervasive. Technology should be viewed as a relationship that IT does not fully own. It is important to adopt a cross-functional approach to change that integrates business, technology, and the people using it. This means creating a culture of pervasive technology integrated into business operations and human interactions. 
  • Ensuring business leaders own the transformation agenda. Technology change is the responsibility of respective business leaders, not just technology or information leaders. The workforce outside of IT must “own” their relationship with technology. 
  • Creating continuous feedback loops to shape user experience. The end-users, supervisors, and impacted teams must be engaged and knowledgeable about adoption of new technology solutions. Organizations should incorporate end-user inputs and feedback to identify ways in which technology would be most helpful to improve productivity and enhance experience. 
  • Empower change champions. To encourage employees to embrace these behaviors, organizations should recognize and reward cross-team collaborators, connectors, and educators. These incentives are vital to introducing and sustaining new behaviors. 
  • Building a strong case for change. Transformation leaders should know the why, what, and how of changes. In addition to understanding how change impacts everyday activities, it is important to know the alignment to the broader organizational strategy and purpose. 

The Eagle Hill Consulting Healthcare Employees Experience Survey 2021 included 505 respondents from a random sample of healthcare industry employees across the U.S. The survey polled respondents on aspects of employee experience, including technology, diversity, employee engagement, and customer service.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact: Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill