Posted on April 05, 2017 by Marco Lo
My partners and I started Magenta Health, a family medical clinic in Toronto, as an opportunity to innovate, particularly when it comes to the use of technology to improve patient access, convenience, and care.
Having deployed a number of technologies in our practice, including patient e-booking, the subject of our successful LEADing Practice Challenge submission, we've been through our share of struggles, challenges, and mistakes. Here are three key lessons we’ve learned:
- Plan to iterate, then iterate some more: While planning is, of course, a good idea, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to plan for every possibility. We’ve learned to push forward knowing full well we’ll run into problems - we just need to plan to quickly iterate and make changes as necessary. This approach has helped us move quickly and to focus our resources on real-life problems, instead of theoretical ones.
- Listen to your stakeholders: For us, this meant listening to our patients, our physicians, and our staff. We’ve found unsolicited criticism to be particularly valuable as it often reveals a different perspective or gaps in our own thinking. We’ve learned to treat every question as an opportunity to ask, “How can we do better in the future?”
- Choose a vendor carefully: Choosing the wrong vendor can easily sink a project. Questions to ask include:
- How long has the company been in business?
- How mature is the product or service being offered?
- Who are their other customers?
- What do their online reviews say?
- Do they understand your organization’s needs?
- Are they responsive to your requests?
- What support do they provide you and your patients?
I hope the lessons we learned the hard way will help you deploy your own innovations successfully. Share your own in the comment section below!
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Marco Lo is a family physician and co-founder of Magenta Health, a family medicine clinic in downtown Toronto that leverages technology to improve patient care and access. His interests include both Quality Improvement - a systemic approach to improving health systems - as well as technology design, development, and deployment.