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Resistance to change with Healthcare Analytics

11 - Bolide

Recently my company has been striving to use new processes/software/ways of thinking to try to advance our IT and Data & Analytics areas. Is it just me or is it harder to move up the analytics curve when you work in this industry? Have you encountered push back and how did you overcome it?


Here is an article that prompted this post:



5 - Atom

Life and death consequences (including separate to actual life and death eg. litigation) makes health companies very risk averse.

     - this is very hard to work around although it should be recognised (and repeated highlighted) that potential benefits and superiority of new technology also has life and death consequences that are being missed out on by maintaining a status quo overly.

     - build evidence via small case studies or initiative proven to work and benefit patients elsewhere


Clinician paramountcy - sometimes you will encounter the view that 'clinician knows best' (even better than data and evidence). This is occasionally common in clinicians. It is not an illegitimate viewpoint (especially faced with rampant data quality issues (especially historically) or deficient systems) but can be misplaced and obstructive sometimes.

     - this needs to be worked through with better data & evidence, creating clinician confidence and buy-in to data and analytics and systems generally and your project also. You may want to acquire or develop an on-board/favourable clinician to act as your champion.

     - you want to be working (quite overtlyand demonstrably) with and empowering the clinician and their medical knowledge (augmenting rather than replacing(for now!))


The previous point is related to the unclear relationship between patient experience/service/happiness/value AND cost. It is very hard to value these things and create a clear case for extra expense or change in practice being worth the expense (£ or time (and time is £)). This non-clarity encourages a tendency to the status quo.

     - seek executive direction to power through or establish it via convincing data /case study (case for change inc ROI)


Healthcare system interoperability (API etc.) are sometimes minimal. Alteryx can obviously help alleviate here to some degree but this is also an obstacle

     - More Alteryx! Comprehensive data warehouse creation etc.

Data sharing/privacy -
health information and data is probably the most personal data one can have and people are very wary of its use and sharing, this can be obstructive sometimes

     - ironclad security to reassure

     - ironclad data sharing/consent/infromation govenance procedures/policies to reassure


8 - Asteroid

Hi Sarah,


Great questions!  I've worked in a couple of different industries and I see the resistance to change occur across the board.  It happens more often in mature organizations, which makes sense.  They tend to be less willing to embrace new tech or become agile.    I typically run into the "We've always done it this way" syndrome. You can thank 'Grandma COBOL', a.k.a. Grace Hopper for some insight on how to navigate that problem.  She has some great anecdotes.  I can usually dissect that issue by simply asking "Why?".  Most of the time, no one knows why.  Another helpful aspect is to make sure you have a champion that can move your project forward.  It is nearly impossible to turn an organization into an analytics-adopting organization by yourself.  You need warriors on your side.  Where I've been successful, I've been a bit bold in my approach.  I build a demo or prototype and then shop it around and see if it takes hold.  When I worked at The Joint Commission, I had a really hard time introducing new processes.  I worked in the Research division, and I couldn't get traction.  I had a friend in the Standards division so I met with the director there to show what I've been working on.  The project took off and I ended up moving over to the Standards division. I had to go out on a limb but there was really no downside.  Sometimes, fortune favors the bold.  


Hope that helps Sarah!


~ Nathan


P.S. Great seeing you at Inspire and well done on the panel.