Physician Culture and the Adoption of Mobile Medicine — an Excerpt

An excerpt from the book 'Mobile Medicine: Overcoming People, Culture and Governance (1st edition)' by Sherri Douville (ed.), 2021.

Mobile Medicine Overcoming People, Culture, and Governance

“Given the complex cultural, technological, and institutional organizational barriers to digital technology adoption, especially mobile, what is the way forward?  If the experience of frontline physicians and other providers is one of frustration and burnout in confronting digital transformation, it is certain that the organization will feel the cost at various levels in various ways. To some extent, this is a challenge for alignment of organizational goals and needs in a competitive environment where technology solutions may come to bear, but in a context of participation with clinical leadership at all levels of the hospital organization. The involvement of the organized medical staff should in our view be a key factor in development. The organization may see a requirement, say for a clinical program to integrate services for value-based purchasing or communication with post hospital care providers. The case can be made with the medical staff in terms of requirements for marketplace competition or enhancement of the health system role in the community, quality of care, and/or meeting regulatory requirements. Our experience is that medical staff will accept the need for such programs and be ready to consider them and help guide them to success. What is required for success is an explanation that is clear and direct. Physician champions can be found and developed. The role of the medical staff organization is to work with the hospital and health system leadership to communicate on a regular basis in terms of project development, challenges, and successes. We have found that regular reports to the medical staff through online bulletins, medical staff department and executive committee meetings, and especially development of physician champions to lead the way have been very successful in the development of new programs.

By the same token, physicians have in our view the obligation to make the effort to understand the technology that underlies the tools that they use every day and which they would like to see improved or developed. This might mean continuing medical education aimed at the technologies underlying digital transformation, including the basics of computing, artificial intelligence, the structure of data used in electronic health records, and basic programming ideas that inform the structural development of medical data and its analysis, for example.   

Returning to the theme of professionalism, mutual respect, and emphasis on team-based structures of care delivery over hierarchical systems will facilitate an interdisciplinary professional discourse that respects contributions from technological experts, direct health care providers, and supportive service staff. Hospital and health system leadership must develop and support this dialogue, which ultimately will benefit patients and manifest a healthy work environment for all. As mobile medicine develops, we predict that physicians will be eager to use tools that help them perform optimally in the service of their patients and the teams that these physicians help lead.”

This (forthcoming) book features 16 chapters in 6 sections written by 27 experts in domains required to drive mobile medicine including physician executives, engineers, IT & security executives, lawyers, organizational psychologists and researchers, and includes detailed exploration of the following topics:

  • Physician culture vs. Organizational culture and technology implementation
  • Physician behavior around technology including disruptive behavior, alienation, and burnout
  • Quality and physician trust and engagement with data and metrics
  • Driving regulatory and compliance success around mobile technology
  • Risk management and keys to success for mobile medicine
  • Evidence based leadership practices that accelerate transformation
  • Team building strategy and approaches to collaboration: bridging the gap between the medical and technology worlds.



Excerpted from Mobile Medicine: Overcoming People, Culture and Governance (1st edition), Sherri Douville (ed.), 2021. 

Dr. Brian McBeth 




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