The introduction of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in the healthcare system came with numerous advantages. Some of the advantages include quick access to patient’s records, accurate and complete patient information at the point of care, secure sharing of patient information and improved cost through reduced paperwork among others. Despite the many advantages, nurses still resist adopting the new technology. As a nurse facilitator tasked to implement a new electronic health record system in a small hospital in upstate New York, I would adopt the Everett Roger’s theory.
In his theory, Everett Rogers (2003), suggested five qualities that would help convince the nurses to adopt the new technology. The five qualities are relative advantage, compatibility with existing values and practices, simplicity, trialability, and observable results.
Relative advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes (Anderson, Varnhagen, & Campbell, 2014). The rate of adoption of an innovation is positively related to the relative advantage.
People are therefore more willing to adopt a system that presents more advantages over the current system. To convince the nurses that the new system is better, I would begin by pointing out all the shortcomings of the existing system. Using the simplest language possible, I would then explain how the new system works with emphasis on the advantages that come with the new system. To summarize, I would then highlight how each of the shortcomings of the old system will be addressed by the new system.
Dooley (2013), defines Compatibility as the degree to which an innovation is perceived as consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters.
In the mind of a potential adaptor and idea that is more compatible is less uncertain and more welcomed. People would appreciate the similarities and would not regard the idea as new therefore boosting the acceptability.
It is human nature to have comfort zones and to resist changes that would threaten the comfort. Nurses would want to know how compatible the new system is compared to the old one that they are used. I would analyze the new system and find as many similarities as possible and in-cooperate them in my presentation to convince the nurses that the system though new, is not strange but has the earmarks of the system that is familiar to them.
Simplicity is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as simple to understand, implement and use (Seemann, 2012). The rate of adoption of a new idea is negatively related to its complexity. An idea, therefore, that is perceived to be simple, can be widely accepted and adopted. Most people will agree to try something new if they know it is not complicated to understand. As a nurse facilitator, my job would be to explain to the nurses how easy it is to master the new system. In an attempt to eliminate doubts on the simplicity of the new system, I would compile a list of what makes the new system easy to learn and contrast with what was hard to learn in the old system. I will make it a priority to convince the nurses that they can easily master the new technology and in no time, everyone will be an expert in the system.
Trialability defined as the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. Experts believe that the trialability of innovation is positively related to its rate of adoption. Before the presentation, I would make sure I have completely mastered the new system so that as I present, the nurses will find it interesting and look forward to trying it too before it is implemented.
Observable result is simply the way others see the results of innovation. People will more likely adopt an idea, innovation or technology that has been proven to truly work. Armed with evidence of how successful the new system has been implemented at different facilities, I would share with the nurses how other facilities have adopted the new system and how the nurses like it. I would pull out a few positive reviews written by nurses who have used the system and share with them. I would also conduct a manager of one of the facilities that have successfully implement the new technology and ask if she is willing to record a short video of how her staff is enjoying the new system and I would include the clip in my presentation.
For years, many healthcare leaders have believed nurses are too slow to embrace new technologies and are disruptive or even obstructive to change (Burnes et al., 2008). This belief is grossly inaccurate, but it is unfortunately believed by a wide variety of organizations, including technology system suppliers. This prevents companies from understanding the practicalities of how professions change and how they can support innovation in practice.
Nurses are the majority of the hospital workforce. Despite their numbers, more often than not, their opinion is not sought before making major changes in the hospital. Hamer (2013), rightfully points out that healthcare technology implementation is not always successful because nurses and other frontline workers are not involved enough in the change process. As a result of this, nursing has been painted as having a reputation of being obstructive to change, particularly around technology.
In an attempt to include nurses in decision making on health technology projects, the hospital management uses senior managers, who are often unfamiliar with the care setting, to advise on and set up processes (Dowding, 2013). This fails to capture the needs of frontline practitioners in delivering day-to-day care. In my opinion, a true change in information technology that can be widely accepted requires the involvement of the end user.