3 tips for coping with buyers’ anxiety (health IT)

For Christmas, Santa brought me an iPad (which I thought was very cool by the way!)  I’ve been living vicariously through friends and business associates who were early adopters.  Now that I have one and it is fully integrated into my daily life, I’ve started picturing how a device like this might be useful in the industry we are in.  For instance, while our organization’s web-based application works very well with an iPad, what other apps can we develop to make life better for our laboratory and physician clients and ultimately help improve patient care?

If I’m honest, another thought that pops into my consumer mind is, “how will the iPad2 compare with my current iPad ?”  Should I have waited to buy?  Will the price drop soon?  When is the right time to invest in new technology – really?

Many healthcare providers face similar questions related to investing in electronic health systems (EHR, EMR, RIS, LIS, etc.)  When should I invest in a new system?  Once an EMR is in place, is life going to be simpler?  Before building interfaces, should we wait until HIEs are a little more mature?  At what point do we invest in an interface engine?  What is needed for Meaningful Use (MU)?

These are just a few of the questions in an industry that seems very messy and complicated today.   Combine that with the fact that standing still is probably not the right move – buyers’ anxiety can sneak in.  While we wait for new innovations and movements to make things simpler, here are 3 things to hang your hat on in the mean time as you make technology investment decisions.

1.  Invest in systems and people that truly understand the importance of efficient integration
2.  Invest in systems that are flexible in architecture
3.  Invest in systems that have the capability to continually change and improve quickly (SaaS philosophy)

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