What should you look for when choosing a technology partner?

As your business grows, so will your technological needs. Healthcare organisations have learnt to use technology-enabled solutions to explore new ways to deliver patient care and streamline their internal operations. However, the possibilities are endless and often you might not have the necessary expertise in-house or know where to begin. 

If you are wondering where to begin, worry no more. Consultative, technological partners are there to assist you with the implementation of tech solutions that will fill the gaps within your already existing ecosystems and enable you to unlock previously undiscovered business, clinical and patient value. 

What is a technological partner and how do they work?

Simply put, technological partners are industry experts that can help you optimise your systems or implement new solutions to achieve your organisational goals. They can add value to your business by being both a technology vendor that provides proprietary solutions to your problems but also a constructive “innovation engine” to fuel your transformation. Your technology partner should be able to manage your project, have the necessary expertise for its smooth implementation and sit alongside you into the future to ensure success. 

If you think a strategic partnership is the right solution for your healthcare business, here are the top things to consider;

  • Your technological partner should understand your business needs

Ultimately, your technological partner is here to listen and understand your organisational needs and explain complex solutions in non-technical terms. Healthcare experience can be invaluable but what is more important to understand is that patient and clinician disengagement is very often the result of archaic or dysfunctional systems. When healthcare workers are disengaged, they only deliver high-quality service 23% of the time [1]. Does this sound alarming to you?

This is where your strategic partner could help. They have the knowledge to advise you on what technological solutions are available to create a better patient experience and re-engage with clinical staff to ensure seamless interaction from both sides. But it’s not all about “telling”, good partners can unlock the insight within a business and use this as “the fuel in the innovation engine”.

A good technological partner will start by assessing your current business KPIs, user journey and pain points to identify opportunities for improvement. They could provide you with a good problem definition canvas that looks deeper into your customer and clinician journey and the relationships between them. They will challenge existing thinking and propose some brave, new solutions: whilst remaining empathetic and pragmatic to the day-to-day demands of a business.

Being aware of all available alternatives and knowing the pros and cons of buy vs build, your technical partner will bring to you the market-leading solutions that are tailored to your business needs and that maximise your budget. 

  • Foster long-term client relationships with scalability in mind 

Your technological partner is here to provide ongoing support and ensure operations are running smoothly while focusing on custom, tailored offerings. 

Look for technological partners that offer long-term solutions! Remember that while adopting new technology is simple, evolving its features and maintaining its relevance requires ongoing support. Technological solutions shouldn’t just meet your initial needs. Ensure your technological partner is there to help you with at least a three year long roadmap that takes into consideration your future goals, expectations and projected company growth. 

In addition, any proposed technological solutions should accommodate the expected patient and clinician loads and be able to support the increasing number of users without sacrificing performance or causing downtime. In other words, they should be able to anticipate and withstand future peaks in demand. Also, technological partners can be incentivised to create long-term mutual value and a partner who is willing to “put their money where their mouth is” can be a great selection. 

Here are several significant aspects that influence your platform’s capacity to scale when usage spikes: performance, recoverability from failures, ease of management and expansion through new features. Ascertain that your technological partner has procedures in place that address these aspects and consider cloud costs and balance this against the overall spend.

  • Transparency and trust 

A good technological partner should be upfront and transparent from the beginning. However, you need to do your due diligence. Request case studies and speak to previous clients to verify their expertise. It’s good to note that transparency should be a two-way street. While insisting on a clear view of your technology partner’s dedication to your project, ensure that you have a good understanding of your own goals, timeframe, and budget.

Remember, It’s not just about technology. The cultural fit between both organisations is just as important. Here are some of the more significant questions to ask that will help you establish a foundation of transparency and trust with your partner from the get-go; 

1. Does their approach fit with your business culture? 
2. What is their problem solving strategy and communication channels? 
3. Do they ask the difficult questions up front? 
4. With the evolving regulatory landscape in healthcare, do they have security at the forefront? 
5. Can they build, deploy, run and scale the recommended technological solutions and easily integrate new functionality. 

  • Utilise the latest working and technology practices 

Working practices that are agile, flexible, and adaptable, as well as an understanding of the latest working technology, are crucial attributes to look for in a technological partner.

For example, your tech partner should know the importance of the micro services architecture approach to application development in order to increase your platform’s flexibility. Because one of the key features of micro services is scalability, it means that if you need to improve a single function or a specific service, it would not affect the whole architecture. Also, as APIs are critical to digital transformation, ensure your technology partner is up to date with the latest integrations so you can automate manual tasks and link your databases and applications to save time, cost and efforts. 

Why MyPulse? 

At MyPulse we take into account autoscaling and speed up your time to market. We understand that the best technological solutions can be broken down into smaller rice-grain services which means that each service could be independently scaled to meet your current demands.  

We foster long-term business relationships and offer ongoing support. We recognise the significance of regular communication so we facilitate stand ups, organise steering meetings and host overall catch-ups to decide on priorities and ensure your business goals and objectives are well supported. Our technology experts and chief clinical innovations officer will work closely with your teams to ensure project success from start to finish.

Last but not least, our teams are experts in change management. Why is this important? Many healthcare organisations are pivoting from being service providers to being product-centric businesses. This takes a huge paradigm shift and in turn means that understanding change allows us to help you manage expectations across multiple stakeholders within your organisation. 

[1] Lowe, G., 2012. How Employee Engagement Matters for Hospital Performance. Healthcare Quarterly, 15(2), pp.29-39.