Implementation: More than Flipping a Switch

One of the most important and frequently overlooked aspects of implementing a new technological innovation is complementing existing workflows. Regardless of how effective or well-intentioned this intervention can be, without key stakeholder buy-in, it is highly likely the technology will never live up to its potential — or fail to be adopted entirely. This is why it is extremely important to consider how processes are currently conducted, especially within a hospital environment. The needs of patients, physicians, nurses, administrators, and others must all be considered before executing a change that can have a profound impact on care delivery.

Prior to implementing mPOWEr at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, my team and I will be observing current practices, identifying key stakeholders, and conducting interviews and focus groups at both sites. With this information we will characterize and map post-discharge workflows. The goal is to identify where and how mPOWEr will fit in at these two hospitals, each serving a different surgical patient population with different needs and challenges. This will ensure that mPOWEr will assist patients and providers with care coordination, as opposed to being burdensome.

Once the pilot program has been established, it will be possible to characterize and generalize best practices for mPOWEr implementation at future hospitals. Additionally, it will help us evaluate additional functionality in subsequent versions of the application. This will allow us to achieve the goal of mPOWEr to be a patient-centered technological innovation that improves the quality of care for everyone involved.