Yesterday, I wrote about the twin issues of sustainability and strategy, Sustainability Management = Portfolio Management, and the need to reformulate current services to plug into integrated systems, accept value-based reimbursement, and leverage technology. The last issue—the new technologies that are likely going to disrupt the behavioral health delivery system—was the focus of the mhca Innovation Incubator session, Emerging Science Shaping Behavioral Health Service Delivery, which I facilitated earlier this week in Phoenix. My takeaways? There are a wide range of new technologies that are either in small scale use or in the pipeline that are likely going to have a big impact on the field.
The range of new technologies available to assist and deliver services to the complex consumer group is not only large, but its also continuously growing. These technologies fall in three main categories: new brain/central nervous system science, technologies to optimize the value of consumer care, and technologies to improve health and human services system performance. (For more, see the October issue of our OPEN MINDS Management Newsletter on technology, Why Your Tech IQ Will Determine Your Success In A Value-Based World ). Within those categories there are literally tens of thousands of new technologies—a dizzying array of options for managers of health plans and service provider organizations to evaluate and implement.
What technology to invest in and how to ensure a return on investment is the million dollar question for executives. Why? Because these technologies are starting to, and will continue to, change the “best value” market model of service delivery. This means that technology cannot be selected in a “bubble” or because it seems “cool.” Instead, the adoption of new technologies should be framed around (and compliment) your organization’s future strategy and plans for new service line development (See From Strategic Planning To Tech Strategy and The Health & Human Service Executive’s Blueprint For Tech Strategy Development).
When investing in new technologies, it is critical to use best practice methodologies for determining the functionality, integration, and implementation to ensure a return on investment (see Tech Best Practice: Planning, Budgeting & Change Management and For Telehealth, The ROI Is Where You Plan For It). But selecting the right technology is not enough—strategic leverage of technology also requires a best practice implementation plan (see Transforming Your Information Technology Department Into A Strategic Solution and Organizational Leadership, Change Management, & Technology Implementation – Is There A Link?).
To illustrate the challenging path from tech strategy through implementation, participating executives in the Innovation Incubator got to hear case studies on what the deployment of new technologies looks like in the field. Featured case studies included Neuronetics’ transcranial magnetic stimulation deployed at Center for Life Management in New Hampshire; Lantern technology (digital, guided CBT) used in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center primary care practices; and a peer-lead coaching model using MyStrength (web and mobile self-help resources) at Colorado’s Center for Mental Health. Each case study presenter spoke to some of the practical and cultural issues involved in adopting new technologies.
While each case study was very different, I thought there was two important similarities among them—the technology provided a new option for consumers and technology reduced the use of licensed clinical professionals in the treatment process. These are the “better value alternatives” that I referred to yesterday as the competitive threats to traditional provider organization service lines.
For more case studies on technology strategy and implementation, join us on at The OPEN MINDS Technology and Informatics Institute on November the 7th and 8th in Philadelphia for the sessions:
- Telehealth Best Practices: How To Build A Successful, Sustainable Program featuring Lori Schmidt, Director of Behavioral Health, Health Partners and Michele Kelly-Thompson, Director of Clinical Services, Human Services Center
- Information Exchange & Tech Innovation: How Technology Is Changing Case Management featuring Virginia Matthews, RN, BSN, MBA, Project Manager, MAXIMUS and Luke Crabtree, JD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Project Transition
- The Leader’s Challenge: Leading The Technology Imperative In A Provider Organization featuring John Falsetti, Director of IT, Maryville Academy; John Falsetti, Director of IT, Maryville Academy; Lea Frontino, VP, Information & Adapted Technology, Inglis; and David Spiecher, CTO, Aspire-Indiana
- How Technology Is Shaping Addiction Treatment: Remote Monitoring, Mobile Apps, & More featuring Brenda Haaga, Vice President of Prevention/Early Intervention, Education, and CHESS Application, Central Kansas Foundation; Arel Meister, Founder & President, Sprout Health Group; and Maks Danilin, Strategic Account Executive, Aware Recovery Care, Inc.