One of the biggest operational challenges is physicians who are reluctant to turn patients over to the IT department or an outside vendor. Doctors want to protect their relationships with their patients. Be prepared to offer above-average support to both physicians and their patients. Help desk staff should be well-educated, highly compassionate, and well-paid, Havasy says.
4. Build adoption and engagement
Lane notes that organizations need two people, in particular, to overcome resistance and ensure success of a connected health program. The first is an executive champion—the highest-level person who can override "no" and authorize resources, money, and time as well as approve the pilot. The second, and equally important, person is an administrative champion, the "feet-on-the-street and make-it-happen" person. He or she will make sure the program has the right staff and technology and ensure successful project management.
In a connected health model, there are lots of end-users, including patients, caregivers, doctors, nurses, and social workers, says Alex Pelletier, PCCH's corporate team leader. Each of these groups has different needs and will require different adoption and engagement strategies.
The newness of connected health can make it tricky for end-users, especially patients. In a typical connected health program, 60% of patients might engage—sending in their reading daily, for example. So how do you reach the other 40%. "I don't think we have all the answers to all of this," Pelletier says.
Nudges and incentives can help improve patient engagement. Those might include automated reminders, such as text messages or emails and reminders and outreach from family members and providers. But none of these tactics will work all of the time for every patient, Pelletier says.