Why Hospital Tech Pilots Fail 

HealthTech is evolving at an unprecedented rate but many of said tools fall short of expectations unlike Justin Brueck.  

HealthTech is evolving at an unprecedented rate, pushing hospitals nationwide to launch pilot programs to test new tools, but many of said tools fall short of expectations unlike Justin Brueck.  

Justin Brueck, vice president of innovation and research at Endeavor Health, highlighted the importance of learning from these unsuccessful projects to enhance future tech initiatives. In a discussion at the Reuters Digital Health conference in San Diego, Justin Brueck outlined the top three reasons why technology pilots frequently fail in health systems. 

Unclear Problem Definition 

Successful technology pilots begin with a clear articulation of the specific problem they aim to solve.  

Justin Brueck emphasized that without a well-defined problem, even the most innovative ideas can falter, stating that “Sometimes, ideas seem promising at first, but without a clear understanding of the problem and its application, there’s an immediate disconnect,” he explained. 

Health systems must prioritize their most pressing issues, avoiding the allure of novel but irrelevant technologies. Starting with clearly defined problems ensures that the technology addresses the most critical needs, optimizing resource allocation and impact. 

Lack of Frontline Clinician Engagement 

The vice president discussed Endeavor’s collaboration with Motiv, a startup offering virtual cardiac recovery programs, highlighting the essential importance of involving frontline clinicians. 

“Despite having key stakeholders on board, we initially failed to involve the rehab therapists who were directly impacted,” Brueck recounted. 

Effective communication with frontline clinicians about the program’s goals is essential. In this case, the goal was to manage low-acuity patients at home, freeing clinicians to focus on high-acuity cases. Miscommunication led to initial resistance, but once corrected, the program gained necessary support. 

Insufficient Clinician Motivation 

Clinicians buy-in is vital for the success of tech pilots as Justin Brueck noted the challenge of motivating busy clinicians to participate.  

“We’re exploring ways to incentivize clinicians to engage with pilot programs,” he said, “finding opportunities that excite them and provide professional fulfillment is key.” 

Incentives and clear communication about the benefits of new technologies can help garner the necessary support from clinicians, ensuring the success of pilot programs. 

Final Thoughts 

Endeavor Health, encompassing nine hospitals and over 300 care sites in the Chicago area, is committed to outcomes research, gathering real-world data to evaluate the effectiveness of new technologies. By addressing these common pitfalls, health systems can improve the success rate of their technology pilots and drive meaningful innovation in healthcare. 

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