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The elephant(s) in the room – Part two

Updated: Aug 3, 2023


So now you’ve met our first elephant in the room, the untapped resource that is the IT sales person, allow me to introduce you to the second elephant in the room. With a focus on the healthcare sector our second elephant in the room is in fact an attitude, rather than a person; it’s the attitude towards IT suppliers in general, not only at a local level but a national one too.

Having recently engaged with many leaders in healthcare, often working for the likes of national NHS organisations, regulators, think tanks and some charities, all dedicated to driving change programmes, I have one phrase ringing in my ears:

We can see how much you can help but of course we have to remain impartial and couldn’t introduce you to those looking to us for help”.

These organisations are often made up of experts in their field, have lots of experience, no doubt have spent significant time in your shoes as a team lead, service manager or trust board member maybe. They help compile useful reports and advice, put on local events to share best practice, give you some pointers, focal points, benchmarks, measures and maybe a toolkit (a toolkit being process flow to follow in an Excel Spreadsheet/ PowerPoint/PDF/infographic/YouTube video – delete as applicable). But they aren’t there to give you software solutions, the money to buy one, or introduce you to anyone that can help, that’s against the rules.

It is as if there is some kind of airlock managed by these national organisations that have you on one side asking for help and us, the IT suppliers packed with knowledge and tools, on the other. It’s almost like we are destined to never meet, you’ll have all the advice you need but no route to implement it. So is it really any wonder that when you go to work in the NHS you step back in IT time, leaving all the IT that you use in your everyday life behind you (banking, shopping, holiday booking, researching and staying connected online) with these two elephants in the room?

These two elephants; misunderstanding the value IT salespeople can offer you and the attitude that gate keeps those wanting to help from those that are asking for it, are the two things we need to fix. We don’t need new technology to deliver great IT in healthcare, we need new attitudes and team work between us the IT supplier, and you the healthcare providers. We are on the same team.

I’d urge you to face down the elephants in the room and let’s get things moving, together. Maybe we could even have a chat about the latest 100 page piece of national guidance and how we can help you implement it?


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