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Exploring the Importance of Change Management in Healthcare

Change ManagementChange management is an organized, structured approach with methods that enable healthcare organizations to transform workflows seamlessly. Organizational change management requires the collective involvement of C-level executives and stakeholders to successfully implement changes within a care facility. 

Change is required when individuals, processes, teams, and tools cannot keep pace with the ever-changing needs and expectations of the organization. This article explores the significance of change management, and it presents five critical steps for leading change in modern healthcare.

Importance of Change Management in Healthcare

Change management helps practices achieve their organizational goals with minimal resistance to change from care staff. Healthcare executives must build focused, structured change management plans to effectively guide personnel to achieve desired outcomes. An effective plan eliminates anxiety, confusion and stress for care teams during major or minor organizational transitions. 

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Two Types of Change Management 

Organizational change can either be adaptive or transformational depending on the needs of the care facility. Adaptive changes are minor, incremental adjustments that improve clinical processes and workflows. This iterative change strategy does not impact the business model of the care facility.

Transformative, long-term change strategies greatly impact the culture and mission of an organization. Transformational change includes substantial, sudden alterations that impact how people, processes and tools operate in hospitals. Transformational change management may lead to a complete overhaul of the care facility’s critical functions and business structure.

Five Steps to Organizational Change Management

To successfully implement an organizational change approach, healthcare executives must focus on the following five steps

  1. Define the change: Healthcare leaders must identify areas that require minor or significant alterations. Leadership must introduce the proposed changes to staff and communicate why the alterations are necessary. Personable, transparent conversations allow administrators to gain buy-in from even the most reluctant individuals.
  2. Develop the plan: After leaders determine what needs to be changed, they must build an effective, step-by-step plan that helps departments implement the changes organization-wide. Effective plans detail the organization’s objectives, and success is measured through key performance indicators (KPIs). The plan distributes roles and responsibilities to others to ensure that change strategies are successfully implemented.
  3. Implement the plan: Individuals must follow the plan for change to achieve all organizational objectives. The plan works as a compass as it guides people and groups during the change management process. Healthcare managers must anticipate obstacles during the implementation process and generate solutions to ensure successful plan execution.
  4. Stick to the plan: Resistance to change is inevitable when plans are implemented across care organizations. Effective, concrete plans combat barriers to change by making it difficult for personnel to revert to the old way of doing things. This phase requires change managers to motivate or even reward staff for welcoming adaptive and transformational changes. Successful change implementation can impact people, processes and health IT solutions.
  5. Analyze outcomes and results: Change leaders must assess the performance and success of their change management initiatives. A comprehensive analysis helps managers determine whether their project objectives have been achieved following plan implementation. These insights help leaders improve their change management processes.

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Managing Organizational Change With OnPage

Hospitals can transform how teams communicate through HIPAA-compliant alerting and messaging solutions, such as the OnPage clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) system. 

OnPage replaces pagers and automates the delivery of alerts based on configurable escalation and scheduling policies. The OnPage CC&C solution consists of a web console and a secure mobile application that delivers:

  • Real-time, two-way messages for better care team collaboration.
  • Persistent alerts that bypass the mute switch on all smartphones.
  • Automated high or low-priority mobile alerts.
  • Message file attachments for better clinician decision-making.
  • Audit trails, user presence statuses and post-incident reports for analysis.

Whether it is part of an organization’s adaptive or transformational change initiatives, OnPage always provides a fast, simple technology onboarding process that meets all change management plan expectations. That way, healthcare organizations can quickly transform and modernize their provider-to-provider communications. 

Conclusion

Healthcare leaders must build concrete, effective change management plans to ensure that their organizations evolve along with the industry. Successful plan implementation helps leaders modernize their organizational workflows, and it prevents critical care functions from remaining stagnant over the years.

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