Part of the thrill of working in health IT comes from bringing something more than just a cool widget to market. As a nurse myself, I want to help fellow clinicians with software that solves problems. And, as part of the development process, we seek to partner with health systems to address their specific challenges.
Of course, not every health system can serve as an IT partner – but luckily, some customers are in a position to play a larger role by acting as early adopters.
Early adopters are willing to collaborate with a vendor and openly discuss the challenges they face. Early adopters understand the triumphs and trials of health IT implementation, and are willing to take a calculated risk.
Most importantly, early adopters do not want a Band-Aid to patch up a systemic wound. Their goal is to truly integrate the solution into their daily operations, and then communicate its underlying value on an ongoing basis. In short, early adopters want to have a measurable impact.
Three Ways to Identify Early Adopters
Is Being an Early Adopter Worth It?
I won’t sugarcoat it: being an early adopter takes work. It requires nurturing and relies on human and financial resources. A project can take a year or more to bear fruit, which means a significant investment for both parties. However, that risk can also bring big rewards.
Early adopters can position themselves as forward-thinking, which supports clinician attraction and retention, and helps maintain a loyal patient base. By working to identify success metrics, early adopters can also point to measurable impact, such as reducing length of stay.
Vendors can also benefit from success metrics by showing other customers both an attractive ROI and an ability to work closely with leading medical centers to deliver results.
The successful early adopter/vendor relationship will result in an improved product. Most importantly, the lessons learned will ultimately benefit the most important part of this equation – the patient.