So, your current processes are no longer fit for purpose. And you know by March 2025, all NHS Trusts need to have increased clinical safety capabilities, enhanced cyber security, digital health records and ensure that all care settings have the right infrastructure to work digitally.
You’ve done your research and found a software solution that can help alleviate some of the challenges your organisation has been facing. You know the key benefits the technology can bring, and that the investment is necessary for keeping up with the demands of 21st century healthcare.
However, convincing decision makers to invest in new software is easier said than done, especially when other widely recognised challenges throughout the sector can, understandably, take precedence.
You need to make a strong case to get the team to not only listen, but to act. Here are six steps that you can take to help you convince management to invest in new software solutions.
1. Expose the pain points
The issues that are currently affecting your organisation’s day to day operations will likely be known by your management team, but it just needs someone to lift the lid and bring the topic to the table for change to happen.
You will want to outline some challenges that are occurring right now. Specifically, the issues that can be alleviated with the software you are looking to introduce.
Perhaps compile a list of instances where you have spent avoidable time completing your daily tasks and explain to management exactly how that time can be better spent if only you had the chance. You may even have gathered some anonymous feedback / examples from other people in your organisation that you could draw upon.
The more you can build a compelling narrative of the issues that are being faced on the front line, the more likely your argument will resonate with the people listening. You’ll get into the numbers later. Right now, you want to be painting a realistic picture of the barriers staff are facing to engage the team straight away.
2. Establish the benefits
Now they have a clear understanding of what challenges are happening right now, you want to be able to outline how the new software can help resolve these issues. (Keep in mind some of the ways a proactive change can benefit your organisation in the future. You’ll talk about this later.)
When it comes to establishing the advantages of the technology, it might help to break your points down into tangible and intangible benefits.
Tangible benefits would refer to financial factors such as return on investment (ROI), cost savings or productivity gain.
Intangible benefits would be something more abstract like staff satisfaction or improved patient experience.
How much clinician time can be saved? Does the software help put patients at the heart of their care? What security functionalities can your organisation not afford to miss out on?
Other benefits you may want to consider could be:
- Improved safety compliance
- Better auditability / traceability
- Enhanced service collaboration through interoperability
3. Crunch the numbers
It probably won’t be a surprise to you that corporate meetings often involve a lot of discussion around numbers. So, you’ll want to come to the conversation with some data that will get the attention of senior management.
This may be around the estimated cost of the software, how much your organisation could save in the long term after switching to the new technology or some research findings you have gathered.
You may be able to put some contextual numbers to the pain points and benefits you highlighted earlier. For example, you’re aware that on several occasions, it took multiple days to get confirmation that a posted document reached the recipient. And you’re positive that the new software could’ve sent this document instantly and securely.
And Citizen’s Advice has recently published research around letter delays across the UK. They found that between October 2022 to January 2023, 24% of people who experienced delays in their post faced serious negative consequences, with 8% missing a health appointment.
So how much does it cost to post the average number of documents that go through your service each year? How often do these records fail to get to the end user, needing to be resent? What impact could that be having?
Having some key numbers to share with the team can help them understand exactly the financial impact a digital healthcare tool can have.
4. Set out time scales
The healthcare sector is widely known to be under incredible pressure to meet growing demand. And some may feel that transforming current processes will be overly complex, with any software changes ultimately being avoided as not to upset the status quo. Therefore, any adjustments to critical systems / software needs to be as seamless as possible.
You may want to outline when the new tech could be implemented. If you’re currently facing a particularly challenging time, such as winter pressures, a change to the current process might need to wait.
In the meantime, you might want to reach out to the software provider and find out an estimated roll-out time, to see how long it may take to get everything up and running with the new infrastructure. You may also want to find out if there will be any downtime when switching systems.
Again, in such a busy and fast-paced environment, it may be beneficial to explain to the team the level of impact the new tech may have while it’s being introduced. If the implementation requires zero downtime or the software would work alongside systems already in place, it will mean the change should have little impact to the current routine.
5. Company goals and leading examples
We briefly mentioned earlier about discussing how the new technology can benefit your organisation in the future. This is because senior management may be interested to know more about how software will help the organisation achieve service goals in the long run, not just how it will help with the current challenges.
Therefore, it may be worth keeping in mind the broader benefits of digital healthcare such as enabling service-wide collaboration, supporting staff satisfaction, building a greener NHS or enhancing patient experience.
Perhaps you know of other organisations that have introduced the same healthcare software. If you can include some corroborating evidence or commentary from decision makers in these other services, that can also help your management teams engage with you and have more confidence in embracing change.
6. Book a demo
It’s time to take a look at the software in action. Of course, you know the main capabilities the technology offers but other key decision makers could do with seeing the software themselves.
Book in a session with the software provider so the wider team can see how the technology works. This gives them the opportunity to ask their own questions and get a complete picture of what they are likely to expect.
And it doesn’t hurt that having a demonstration of the software helps to paint the picture or evoke the feelings you have been building throughout this process, reinforcing why it is so important to introduce this digital tool into your organisation.
We provide purpose built software solutions for healthcare professionals to seamlessly access care records and progress their patients’ care journey.