Technology & Equipment

10 Steps to Getting Tech Projects Approved

Operating with the latest technology is becoming a must in healthcare food and nutrition services. With staff shortages, budget cuts, COVID delays and stretched resources, hospitals need to employ technology solutions that ​directly alleviate pain points impacting patient safety, food costs and operational efficiencies.

How can foodservice operators drive tech adoption within their organizations? According to leaders in the industry, it’s all about the process. It’s important to properly justify the new technology. It must have a job to do and a problem to solve, and it must tie into the organization’s strategies and align with initiatives.

For instance, with the supply chain disruptions causing uncertainty in product availability, each hospital within a health system may need to adjust menus to account for product substitutions or shortages. There may be a compelling need for an enterprise software platform that allows centralized control and supports consolidation of tasks that were occurring in every hospital. Tasks such as creating and activating products or menu changes centrally can benefit multiple locations at once, taking the data maintenance burden off individual locations.​

Implementing this type of solution may support a health system’s goal of standardization and may produce additional cost-saving benefits such as leveraging purchasing power and increasing GPO compliance.​

Maybe there is a staffing shortage in the call center. This may be an opportunity where technology, such as a patient self-ordering app, can help deliver the same level of service and choice to patients without adding staff.​ Implementing this type of solution would provide many benefits, including improved patient satisfaction, which is an organizational focus.

Once an operator has decided that a technology solution is needed and will provide significant benefits to the patients, hospital community, and organization as a whole, the key is to follow a detailed process to propose the tech project effectively and increase the chances of approval.

  1. Identify problems to solve
    What is the need for new technology? Was there an event that demonstrated a need for new technology? Clearly define the specific pain points the tech will address, using storytelling skills to convince the audience of the importance and the potential impact of doing nothing.
  2. Ensure alignment with initiatives
    As part of the proposal, be sure to reference any applicable organizational initiatives and describe how the technology solution aligns with them. A clear connection between the organizations’ goals and the proposed solutions will help position the project for success.
  3. Understand the organization’s focus
    Most strategic initiatives are further defined by specific areas of focus. Frame the project to stakeholders in those terms, thinking about what is most important to them.
  4. Get complete project costs
    Research and understand the complete costs of the project. Gather pricing information and understand the organization's budget cycle for all capital and operating expenses.
  5. Validate business impact
    After proposing that putting a solution into place solves a problem, capture some evidence that proves it. Perhaps the vendors being considered, like CBORD, have some case studies and testimonials to reference that show the business impact in real-world scenarios. Often, showing the proof in a peer’s own words can enhance the effectiveness of the proposal.
  6. Partner with IT and finance
    Form relationships and partner with IT and finance. Get them involved early as they can help with validating the numbers and capturing all potential costs when it comes to internal services and hardware.
  7. Evaluate big-picture benefits and incremental benefits
    Consider presenting a big picture plan, which might extend over multiple years and provide substantial benefits. Also, think about how it could be implemented incrementally, providing smaller wins along the way so the organization can start realizing some of the benefits immediately.
  8. Complete a conservative ROI
    Another important piece is to complete a good return on investment. Partner with a solution provider, such as CBORD, who can help capture and account for all the potential benefits and demonstrate how that can translate into improvements and savings.
  9. Identify checkpoints
    Ask partners in IT and finance to help identify some technical and financial checkpoints along the way to validate any assumptions. Chances for approval increase exponentially for a project that has been well thought out, that mitigates risk and that validates that the benefits expected at certain increments are on track, as well as on budget.
  10. Incorporate lessons learned from previous projects
    If there are previous projects that were not approved, make sure to fully understand why and what could have been done differently. Apply these lessons learned to help present the best proposal possible.

Follow these guidelines to help present a powerful case; it can be the difference between an impactful, approved project and a project that is passed over for others that were considered more urgent and compelling.​

To learn more about how CBORD’s technology for healthcare food and nutrition services, visit www.cbord.com/healthcare.

This post is sponsored by CBORD

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