Change Management in Healthcare Overview

As the majority of healthcare project veterans can attest, the process of change management in healthcare can be very slow. Understanding the history of the organization can allow the project team to protect the application investment. A strategy of change management must contain an application specific focus such as ERP, CPOE, Business Intelligence, ICD-10 coding just to mention a few and be created to help the healthcare organization to make use of their human resources, technology and automated processes to increase the investment of the healthcare system in the application.

The Approach of Change Management in the Healthcare

A well-defined and proven, yet flexible methodology of change management must contain a continuous and consistent focus on the history, business goals and culture of the healthcare system. All parties must also work together as partners to help the project team define, a comprehensive strategy of change management, plan as well as the delivery model to offer the project the ability of achieving beneficial change. This is typically about communication and understanding.

The four-phased approach of change management as discussed below is created to help both the stakeholders/business owners and project team to accept and adopt the new technology/application, the functionality and other associated new approaches of doing business in an effective way. The phases are as follows:

Phase One: Change Readiness Evaluation

Successful change management needs that the techniques, strategy, methods and implementation tactics should be tailored to a certain history, personalities and culture of the healthcare system. It is critical for a project team to first understand the culture of an organization in light of capability and readiness for change. This kind of evaluation usually serves as starting point of measuring the effectiveness and improvement of future communication.

Phase Two: Change Management Strategy

Through the knowledge and experience achieved in the Change Readiness Evaluation, the project team comes up with a Change Management Strategy personalized for the healthcare system. This phase defines the communication and change activities needed to move the healthcare system from just project start-up right through implementation. The strategy of change management is aligned with the organization’s implementation plan to make sure communications are delivered together with project milestones.

Phase Three: Change Management Plan

After phase two is approved, the project team should create a Change Management Plan to offer actions, the details and tasks of the needed materials to be created to meet communication requirements and the logistics/schedule for communications. This plan should define members of all the target audiences, especially those who will be impacted by the change. This plan must also be revised as the implementation continues based on certain requirements of the target audience as well as the communication goals of the healthcare system for that particular target audience.

Phase Four: Change Management Delivery and Re-Evaluation

With the change management plan and strategy in place, the project team helps the healthcare system with the development of events, communication materials, offers counsel and guidance about the delivery of change management.

Lastly, the definition and implementation of change management in healthcare systems can prove to be a daunting task if proper measures are taken into proper consideration as seen in the four-phased approach of change.

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Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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