When onboarding patients with new technology, it is important to remain cognizant of the pressures that come with learning any new process. Add to that the pressure of this new technology affecting that person’s health, and a minefield of disappointments from unmanaged expectations is easily created. New technology needs to come with deliverable promises as to why this will benefit the person who now has to embark on a learning journey with it.
Many older patients do not have the familiar relationship with technology that younger demographics enjoy. These patients need to be ‘sold’ on the idea of the new technology. Because no one wants to buy from someone they don’t trust, it is important that the ‘sales pitch’ come from someone that the patient inherently trusts like their doctor or a favorite nurse. This is especially true in older patient demographics, as many of them don’t like the changes technology has brought to their once simple lives, or simply don’t trust that the technology will actually work as intended.
Once the patient has agreed that this technology is necessary, important, or helpful, they are much more likely to commit to improving their proficiency level with it. No one likes to feel like they’ve been left to flounder with a new, potentially life-altering tool, therefore, technological support is vital for successfully implementing new technology with patients. Offering different avenues for support (i.e. phone, email, in-app, and side-by-side support) can make a patient feel like they always have a knowledgeable partner waiting to hold their hand when they need it.
Once the patient has been trained on how to use the new technology and support has been established, the patient should then be guided to where and how they can measure the benefit of the new technology. This can be in the form of data points that can be put on paper, or a simple reminder to the patient about how this new technology has made them feel better; but the correlation must be made in the patient’s mind between the new technology and better outcomes in order to entice the patient to return to the technology they now know.