SIIM: How to score MD buy-in and avoid a post-deployment lynch mob

DALLAS—Most clinical software projects are subject to two laws. The number of physicians who show up for demonstrations is inverse to the number in the post-deployment lynch mob. The physicians who make the time for informatics demos tend to be super-users and don’t represent the target audience for new technology.

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore managed to foil these laws and lure 300 physicians to its recent mobile PACS viewer demo by rewriting its imaging informatics demonstration process. Paul G. Nagy, PhD, detailed the process during an educational session at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM).

With 40,000 PACS workstations scattered across the enterprise, Johns Hopkins is challenged by support and upgrades. The recent emergence of HTML 5 has set the stage for a transition to a mobile PACS viewer for most physicians, said Nagy.

Like other imaging informatics projects, the deployment required representation from business, technical and clinical perspectives. Effective clinical participation in the selection process is a universal challenge, said Nagy.

When Nagy and team were charged with selecting a mobile viewer, he set a simple goal: engage physicians in the process. Then they revised the demonstration process to garner improved participation.

Rather than scheduling live demos from three vendors, the team created a web-based selection process with a self-paced evaluation mechanism. The IT and business stakeholders created a list of three vendors, but most other components were tweaked.

The task-driven assessment comprised a familiar clinician task and required windowing, leveling and zooming on an image set, Nagy said. A 10-question Likert survey ran for one month and included the key question: Would you recommend this software to a colleague?

With 304 physicians completing the survey, the project met Nagy’s goal for the demo and proved to be much more efficient than the standard process.