I had a car I literally hated for 10 years and was overjoyed when 2004 was the year for the first midsize truck. Everyone's warnings were absolutely correct: do not buy the first model ever of any vehicle. Due to illnesses in our family, I purchased and owned my first Colorado on Christmas Eve 2003. "Precious" had issues that irritated me almost from the beginning. When it came time to replace her, I was focused on a Tacoma. Well, my husband suggested I give the 2015 Colorado a test drive. All the issues I despised, had been addressed. Within a week, I had "Rocky" ordered.
Rocky is loaded with technology. The other day, I decided to use the Bluetooth technology to call my Mom hands free. It's the oddest thing arguing with a truck. For some reason, Rocky consistently thought I should call a boy I've known since kindergarten. I finally caved and called Dean. This didn't solve my Rocky tech problem though. Whenever I try to call Mom, Rocky always thinks I want to talk to Dean. When Rocky automatically makes the darn call without asking, it really irritates me. So... if out of the blue you get a hangup call from me, please just smile and think, "Rocky..."
My Colorado and Rocky experience snagged my attention into thinking about rehabilitation outcomes. We all know that in the very near future payment models will include levels of quality. (And seriously, the APTA Alternative Payment System won't be implemented. It's too complicated and doesn't include any component in which CMS is focused: an incentive payment model focused on quality.) In order to be ready for the future payment models, we have to have data now.
When it comes to having data, the system you choose is important. This is not the time to pride yourself in being an early adopter. Here are 5 reasons you want to instead focus on being considered an early majority.
1) Remember how I mentioned my issues with Precious? Early adopters are the guinea pigs. The creators of any product or tech item needs early adopters, yes. Right now is not the time to be a guinea pig. You need tried and true because your future depends on it.
2) Rocky evolved from all the complaints from the Precious model. Early adopters have paved the way for a better product. A system that has been maturing, versus one that is new, will have a lot of the bugs worked out so the product will make you smile more than it will frustrate you.
3) Although Rocky seems to have tech problems with Bluetooth technology, I didn't think of that issue along those lines. Rocky misperceived what I wanted/needed. You need the right data. You need a system that intuitively knows the data you need. I'd even take it a step further: a system that intuitively knows AND delivers the right data is required. If you are an early adopter of a system, it is highly unlikely you will have the right data.
4) If you are considered an early majority, you reap additional benefits compared to early adopters. You reap the rewards of a system that has grown and matured enough to be considered stable. Stability creates this desire of other companies to be interconnected. For example, Rocky has Bose speakers and SiriusXM Radio. For whatever reason, these companies wanted to partner with GM. The same is true in the outcomes world. Think of EMR and continuing education opportunities that just might be partnering with the system you choose.
5) Experts. Plain and simple, if you are considered an early majority, you will be working with experts. Experts who had the ups and downs of success and failure along the way. Experts who have been in the outcomes world long enough to lead and prepare you for industry changes. Experts who may be trying to shape the future.
Do you have outcomes data at your fingertips? If not, that's okay. Research the various systems available and focus on solutions in which you'd be in the early majority versus an early adopter.
Until next time,