The possibilities offered by IoT are vast, but introducing new technology into a hospital environment also changes the way doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other staff members do their jobs and interact with patients and one another.
Let’s face it, the human factor is the messy part of IoT. Experienced hospital staff who are accustomed to doing things a certain way are, all of a sudden, confronted with new technology and lots of data—and quickly go from being experts to novices.
And getting up to speed on new IoT-driven devices may end up impeding processes rather than speeding them up, at least in the early stages of adoption. (The need to scan wristbands and medication labels, for example, can delay treatment at the bedside, not to mention annoy uncomfortable patients.) What’s more, innovations like sensor-driven patient tracking may raise confidentiality and privacy issues with patients and their family members.
Factors hospital administrators should consider before deploying IoT
While employing IoT solutions into hospital operations can certainly improve the quality of care and hospital efficiency over the long-term, it takes careful planning and communication to implement it successfully. Here are some general guidelines for hospital administrators and IT staff to consider:
- Be clear on the objectives of implementing the IoT solutions. What is the healthcare facility trying to achieve and improve?
Write these objectives down and clearly communicate them to everyone who will be affected by their implementation.
- Invest time and resources to train the staff properly in how to use the technology. Don’t implement it before they’re comfortable with it.
- Explain to patients and their families what the technology is for and generally how it works, and get their buy-in and permission beforehand.
- Finally, make sure the best possible security safeguards are put into place. The more IoT devices that are implemented, the more ways hackers have to enter a hospital’s network, putting confidential patient data at risk.
IoT is definitely worth the investment. Hospitals just have to take the right steps to ensure a positive transition. If you’d like to discuss IoT healthcare solutions in greater detail, contact our IoT experts at https://iot.ingrammicro.com/contact