I was really impressed by this blog post by Danielle Cass, Innovation Evangelist in Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation & Advanced Technology Group (sounds like a fun, but tough job) on the HBR blogs. If you’re trying to sell something to hospitals, then you should really take the time to read the whole blog post.
Danielle opens with the crux of the challenge that any healthcare innovation meets when they try to get a hospital to adopt their technology.
No matter how many creative solutions we drum up to improve quality of care and service in the U.S. health system, they won’t do much good if only a few clinicians and institutions know about them and apply them.
But how do you overcome obstacles to spreading innovation, like fear of change, resource constraints, and slow, consensus-based decision making? By connecting people so they can quickly and easily share insights, collaborate on prototypes, and draft off one another’s enthusiasm and momentum. As Atul Gawande put it in a recent New Yorker article, “Human interaction is the key force in overcoming resistance and speeding change.”
In the rest of the post, Dannielle goes through the process of how a new innovative technology was introduced at Kaiser. It provides as clear a look as I’ve ever seen into the challenge of selling into hospitals and getting the technology implemented. It’s a slow process with a lot of challenges.
No doubt Kaiser is a unique institution, but from my experience many hospital systems experience some of the very same problems. It’s very easy to talk about innovation, but it’s a harder thing to get that innovation to diffuse through the organization.
Maybe this is just top of mind as I plan the first ever Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference, but it really illustrates the challenge that health IT companies face selling their product into hospitals. It’s a major process to find the right people and get the right people on board with the vision of your product.