Outline of Change
Discuss about the Change Management in Health Care.
Huntington Memorial Hospital is among the best health centers in the US. Research suggests that the 500 bed facility approximately 27000 admissions on an annual basis. Additionally, its emergency rooms have more than 57000 visits annually on average (Huntington Hospital, 2016). The mission of the hospital is to assure that the patients receive quality service through optimum utilization of the highly skilled and passionate professionals and incorporation of modern technology (Scott, 2012).
To ensure that the facility is up to date with the changing technology, the management has installed a decentralized information system for every department. Thus, the staff members have easy access to information related to the department they work in. The communication process among the personnel is also faster as the workers access either the personalized or the organizational information through their corporate mails (Day & Shannon, 2015). Although the decentralized system has helped improve the transfer of data among the healthcare professionals, the system presents numerous challenges to attainment of the set mission and thus there is a need to change it to a more centralized one.
In the medical center, a restorative specialist is endowed with the commitment of giving best care administrations to the patients. Therapeutic care should be without missteps. In any case, there are diverse frequencies of botches and carelessness that are still seen in the health facility as far as solution strategies. Convictions have shown that missteps happen more a significant part of the time where the nurse director plan to help patients as opposed to mischief them. It is apparent that nobody yet the medical attendants will be reprimanded for these slip-ups. These bungles are a blend of components from remedial administrations circumstances, mis-organization of social protection supplies, correspondence holes among prosperity specialists, weaknesses in orderly preparing and insufficiency in chaperon's parts.
Specialists must fulfill their parts with dependability to ensure patient's security and trustworthiness of human administrations structure. The medicinal services system must actualize e-solution to keep away from any event of therapeutic bungles in the treatment of patients. Specialists must be upheld, enlivened, and asked to consider the change, best wellbeing practices and issue emerging in the health facility. A medicinal overseer should have the ability to recognize the conceivable outcomes of a mistake happening amid solution, progression in restorative frameworks and cognizance of master commitments (Pdr, Pataki, & Sebestyn, 2011)
Approach to be used in Managing Change
The required change within the hospital is centralization of the information system. The existing decentralized one presents the healthcare center with numerous challenges, one of them being that a specialist from one department faces barriers when accessing the information from other departments (Como et al., 2014). Each department has an information system where the specialists input medical data, such as diagnosis, treatment, medication of patients, nurses in charge of patients, supplies within the department. For a doctor in the cancer department to access information from the emergency room, he or she would have to ask for clearance from the ER head of department.
The inability to access relevant information has resulted in increased medical errors for patients dealing with more than one department. For example, a patient suffering from cancer and thrombosis and admitted in the cancer ward, the required medication of thrombosis is overlooked. This could be either due to lack of knowledge or due to lack of timely access to information. As a result, there is reduced quality of services, endangerment of the lives of patients, and the hospital faces the threat of lawsuits. Centralization of the information system would help the specialists access the files of patients from different departments and assign the best treatment and care in a timely manner (Engineer et al., 2015).
The best model for managing the change of the information system is the Kotter’s 8 Step Process of Change Management (Campbell, 2014). Although it is time consuming, it would help prepare all the staff members to embrace change and be a part of the process. The first process entails increasing the urgency of change through highlighting the medical errors that have occurred due to lack of access of adequate information. Moreover, pointing out the health centers that have a centralized system and reduced errors would enable the members of the firm see the need to change the existing system.
Building the guiding team is the second step. Assembling the information system technicians of all departments would guarantee a composition of people with adequate knowledge on the operations of all departments. Involving the heads of department would increase the enthusiasm and commitment to improving the quality standards of the hospital. The third step is development of a vision and a strategy that are in line with the mission of the hospital of maintenance of high quality standards through incorporation of advanced technology. The strategies would entail sensitizing and educating people on the essence of improving the communication system and evaluating methods of improvement. This would provide a platform for the fourth step, which is of communication of the centralized information system (Dunphy, 2013).
Key Elements to be Managed during Change
Through communication, the team leader would increase awareness on the components and features of the information system. Some of them are the use of one server system for the whole hospital, operation from the different computers, use of passwords for restricted documents, and granting accessibility for authorized persons only. Teaching the team members on the necessity to access the documents, advantages that the organization would have, and the roles they would play to ensure successful launch of a more effective and efficient system would improve the work synergy. Frequent talking of change to the other employees would improve their acquaintance to the new system (Casali & Day, 2015).
After communication of the change, there would be a need to embrace empowering actions that aid in removing barriers of change. For example, engagement of workers would help deal with any negative attitudes. Frequent communication with the management of the organization would increase the level of support of the change (Bartunek & Woodman, 2015). Continual assessment of barriers and dealing with them would improve the cooperation level. The sixth step, which involves creation of short wins, members of the hospitals would be encouraged to participate through rewards (Burke, 2003). For example, those who give viable suggestions on how to incorporate the new information would be recognized and awarded. Moreover, there could be development of a small project of two departments sharing information to aid the workers associate with the success the information system would bring.
It is also necessary to produce more change through consolidating gains. In this level, it would be necessary to centralize the whole information system. In case of any element that conflict against the mission of the healthcare, it would be restructured. Setting achievable objectives would not only help in identification of areas of improvement but also in discovery of new innovative concepts that would increase the benefits. Rotation of responsibilities among the team members would elevate innovativeness. The last step is consolidation of change as a new culture. This would help the workers cease to hold onto the concepts of the decentralized system. Some of the effective strategies are frequent talking of the new system, recognizing the contributors, and ensuring the key leaders of change influence more people (Campbell, 2012).
Since change faces numerous challenges, it is important to manage elements that would reduce the barriers of incorporation of the new system. One of the key elements is resistance to change. Since people fear the unknown, their first reaction to a new concept is rejecting it. Instead of focusing on the benefits, they dwell on the disadvantages (Charlesworth et al., 2016). For example, the management may reject the new system due to the high implementation cost. The elevated cost would be due to the expensive server that would serve the whole hospital, construction of a secure location for the server, and development of the program. The workers, on the other hand, could reject change due to fear of losing their jobs. For example, the departmental technicians may think that the system would only require one operator.
To manage this challenge, it would be important to manage the communication strategies. One of the tactics would be enlightenment of the management of the organization. Presenting the need to improve the system in light of the benefits and disadvantages would result in the leaders making an informed judgment (Booth, Zwar & Harris, 2013). Enlightenment of the workers on the requirement of change and giving an assurance of job security would reduce the level of resistance. Another communication strategy is elimination of rumors. People within the organization may distribute incorrect information giving rise to resistance to change. To eliminate such an occurrence, all the members of the organization would be notified about the change through the corporate mails, meetings, and notice boards (Allen, 2016).
Another crucial element that requires management is the skills and labor (Carter, 2015). The change process requires people who are capable of developing a program that supports the number of staff members and patients of the organization. Other essential persons are computer hardware specialists who would install the server, designers of the server room and constructors. Some of these skills are available in the firm, such as the constructors and technicians who can develop the program. However, there would be a need to outsource the hardware installation task and the designing of the server. All the staff members would require going through a training program to enlighten them on how to operate the new system.
It is also important to manage closely the goal of the change to prevent any probability of individuals deviating from the set vision. One of the strategies to ensure the attainment of set objective is its frequent communication. All people working in the organization would be aware of the target of the project. Employee engagement and issuing rewards would increase their motivation of ensuring the success of the new system (Pdr, Pataki & Sebestyn, 2011). For example, there would be recognition and issuing bonuses for workers who research and come up with ways of increasing the level of efficiency and effectiveness of the Information system. Moreover, training the team members on working as a team and handling conflicts would improve the workforce synergy and commitment to the goal.
To ensure the effectiveness of the change implemented in the organization, there is a need to assess the results, which reflect the level of success. From the results, there could be development of ways of overcoming the present disadvantages and challenges to improve the efficiency level. One method of measuring success is benchmarking (Rufo, 2012). The new system is compared to the system of an organization whose level of performance is very high. For example, comparisons and differences could be evaluated between the organization and John Hopkins Hospital, which uses the centralized information system. The differences that do not present any advantages but disadvantages would be an indication of sources of improvement.
Another measure of success is the gap analysis technique, which compares the current system to the set goals of the project during the change process. The difference between the expected results and the current position is an indication of points of correction. However, if the difference is zero, then the system was successfully implemented. This technique would entail collection of data from the staff members and the patients through administration of questionnaires. Using non-biased and close-ended questions would help improve on the accuracy of data collected. The open-ended questions, on the other hand, would help reflect whether the system has sufficiently met the expectation level (Grohar-Murray, DiCroce & Langan, 2016). Low the unmet expectations signify high success level.
One of the ways the outcomes could be useful is through improvement of the implemented system to meet the expectations among the employees and patients, and the set goals. The results indicate some of the pitfalls of the system. Working on them would raise the quality standards, therefore ensuring that the success level is higher than during the evaluation process. Moreover, there would be improved guarantee of the information system working towards the set organizational mission (Hayes, 2014).
The successful models and factors that promote the success of the change process could act as a platform for future changes in the organization (Lawrence, 2014). For example, if the communication strategies applied helped reduce the level of resistance to change, they could be applicable in addressing other changes in the system since they would have a higher probability of success than those not tested in the hospital. The management could also learn from the failures and challenges. Consequently, there would be improvement of the model during future use.
Centralization of the information system is a major change that Huntington Memorial Hospital requires. To ensure that there is successful implementation of change, the most appropriate model to be used is Kotter’s eight-step process model. There would be elimination of barriers to change through managing resistance to change, communication, required skills, and the set goals. After the implementation process, the evaluation process to be used for evaluating the success of the project would be benchmarking and comparison of the set goals to the current operation of the system. From these results, the hospital could improve the efficiency and effectiveness level of the new system. Moreover, the models applied during this change management process could be useful in future implementation of change since change is inevitable.
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