Implementing New Technology

Implementing New Technology

Published by Michelle Haupt on

By Andrea Cook

There are many exciting new orthodontic technologies on the market that can make your office and team more efficient and provide a higher level of patient care. Choosing the best fit for your needs can be a bit confusing.

Implementing New Technology

The first question you should ask yourself is “What problems am I trying to solve?” I often see new products and technology purchased based on what may work for another doctor or on what the sales representative has to offer. This may not be the best solution for you, or even address the areas you want to improve. Running your clinical reports will help identify the actual problem that needs to be addressed. This may be different than how the problem makes you feel. Get the facts and let that push you to the best solution. Getting the team involved in the decision-making process will often get them to buy in and feel an investment in the new technology.

Bringing any new technology into your office can increase productivity, help make you better, and make you faster. But it can also be scary. Getting every employee on board with new technology is no easy task. Not many people like change, even when it’s for the better. Some employees quickly adapt to new processes and adopt new technology, and then there are the skeptics.

The skeptical employees are happy with their current routines and processes. They don’t like change, and even worse, they make that known. Their negativity and attitude spread quickly, which makes it more difficult to get all employees to adopt new technology. Many times, these skeptics are worried about job security or a change in their position. But if you can convince them, you can convince anyone.

One of the biggest struggles for a team when implementing a new technology that is advertised as a tool to reduce the number of appointments scheduled (remote monitoring) and reduction of treatment times (indirect bonding) is that the impact will not be immediate. Teams are often excited to feel the benefits that are advertised, but the reality is that the results are felt after a painful period of implementation. When teams do not see the immediate results, they often get discouraged and can “give up” on the change. Doctors need to be the leader in helping the team understand the benefits that can be gained after the learning curve. Things will be harder at first before the benefits are felt. As teams are often working short-handed or in a training period the extra working and tracking can make it seem not worth the effort.

Here are a few things you can do to convince the skeptics to adopt new technology:

  1. Set the vision. Make sure your vision is compelling and something employees can rally around. Make sure they know exactly how it is going to make their lives easier. Knowing the goal and seeing the vision makes it easier to get on board and adopt new technology.

  2. Empathize with them. Changing processes in the workplace is difficult for most people, even if that new process makes things easier in the long run. Let them know you understand how they feel and remind them of the why behind adopting this new technology.

  3. Identify a champion. Find the champions of this new technology and use them to promote the solution to others. Allow them to be the ones to show how the technology will work. Just like the negativity of the skeptics spreads quickly, the positivity of these influencers will also spread quickly.

  4. Highlight quick wins. Draw attention to the positive impact the new technology is having on the company. Seeing the wins will make it easier to believe in and adopt the new technology.

  5. Offer incentives. Encourage training and adoption by rewarding those who do adopt quickly and use the new technology. These incentives can be gift cards, office perks, swag, or anything that really fires employees up.

The sooner the new technology becomes part of the daily routine in your office, the better. That’s the key to getting employees to adopt new technology.

If you notice more employees are skeptical than not, take a look at the new technology you are asking them to adopt. Ask yourself the hard questions. Does it really make sense for your office, and will it really make their and your patients’ lives easier? Ask your champions the same thing – do they agree with the skeptics at all?

If you do decide it makes sense and you still want employees to adopt this new technology, keep on the path and stay focused! Focus on getting employees to adopt new technology one by one. Train them and train them well. With greater employee adoption, you’ll see greater ROI. Rally the team together and you’ll really start to see the changes you envisioned.

Andrea Cook works as a clinical consultant and trainer for premier orthodontic offices across the country. Since effectively training clinical team members is a critical portion to the advancement of clinical productivity and profitability, Andrea works with teams to increase efficiency, improve communication, and guide the office to a new level of excellence. Her years of experience include working in single, double, and multi-doctor practices. She has extensive experience as clinical coordinator for a multi-doctor practice seeing more than 120 patients per day.