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Strategies for implementing change in healthcare in 2021

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    Posted in Healthcare

    Last Updated | November 15, 2021

    Over the last decade, the healthcare organization has witnessed high-scale transformation and change. There are various reasons behind this change, but information technology has played an essential role in inducing the change. It’s safe to say that information technology has impacted the initiatives in the healthcare industry. Information technology is jutting the delivery of new software applications and products that can change how healthcare is conducted.

    However, within the healthcare industry, there has been a significant fear and resistance against the change. Since, healthcare organizations are under consistent pressure to reduce medical errors, cut down the costs, and adopt innovation, there has to be a mechanism for healthcare transformation and change for stimulating innovation. For this purpose, healthcare providers need to adopt innovative approaches to support the changes occurring in the healthcare industry by consulting the medical app development company.

    Historically, there has remained a strong resistance from within the healthcare industry against the adoption of new technologies and change, since they are unfamiliar with the idea of change. For instance, they joined the healthcare industry to foster wellness and heal patients, but these changes are reducing the patient-healing time for them. It eventually results in practical and behavioral conflicts (yes, these changes are challenging or are in conflict with the values of healthcare). For this reason, the adoption to change becomes challenging.

    Now, the healthcare leaders have to focus on aligning change with current cultural values and allocate time to explain new technologies, changes, and processes. This is because it leads to the improved enacting of values and delivers high-end care to the patients. Coming back to the point, here in this blog we have come up with the details about the implementation of change in healthcare organizations. Moreover, this blog will shed a spotlight on how digital technologies can transmute the healthcare industry!

    What Is A Change In Healthcare Organizations?

    When it comes down to change management in healthcare organizations, it’s a well-structured approach for transforming the healthcare teams and organization from the current state into the desired state. Currently, change management covers the organization as well as individual change management processes. This is because these change management systems are used for managing the change in the healthcare industry.

    Generally, change management is responsible for facilitating innovation and endorsing new technologies. With private and public healthcare delivery, change management is fostered in healthcare practices irrespective of the organization’s size. However, as we have already mentioned, change management has been resisted by the healthcare providers. This means there’s a pressing need to overcome the resistance to change in the healthcare industry before integrating the technologies into the legacy healthcare system.

    Digital health For implementing change In Healthcare Organizations

    To begin with, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes down to implementing the change in healthcare organizations through digital health. However, there are some essential steps that can guide the implementation process and optimize the outcomes. These steps include;

    • Prepare

    Change management should be the foundation of digital healthcare transformation. The change leaders need to focus on business intelligence and securing the resources and funds. However, they often miss the correct foundation for implementing change. For this reason, the healthcare change leaders need to develop the digital transformation charter that outlines the business strategies and goals. Also, they need to identify the stakeholders and change agents since it helps create advocacy.

    The healthcare change leaders create the COE for managing the efforts related to digital transformation. Moreover, it’s essential to maintain the backlog of change for identifying and mitigating the associated risks, such as resistance from personnel, adoption issues, and withdrawal of conventional processes.

    • Define

    After preparation, the “defining” phase is extremely essential because it helps select the desired healthcare outcomes. It also identifies the target audience through mapping and defining the requirements. The “define” phase also designs desired user experience along with solution-oriented elements. Also, it helps in documenting the implementation roadmap. The “define” phase plans the steering meetings with stakeholders, functional leaders, and agents for refining the plan and vision.

    In this phase, it’s essential for conducting the readiness assessment regarding governance, team structure, adoption, sponsorship, communication, and measurement. With the “define” phase, the change leaders need to host the workshops for collecting inputs and identifying the strategies and insights for optimized change implementation. Generally, it focuses on different categories of healthcare change lifecycle, such as training, resistance management, content strategy, and user feedback.

    • Design

    This is the third phase for finalizing the digital transformation regarding change management. These factors include concept proofs, wireframes, architecture charts, fidelity designs, data modeling, integration mapping, and prototypes for transforming vision into reality. When it comes down to change management, it’s about using inputs from previously-mentioned steps to curate a plan. With the design phase, the leaders need to create the teams and define their roles.

    The design phase is all about resolving the impacts of business processes and outlining the measurement plan. Also, it involves designing a one-to-one training plan and developing the content plan. Some healthcare organizations also create self-based learning plans, so consider that part as well. Lastly, the change leaders need to create or at least draft the communication plan.

    • Building & Verification 

    When you are considering the change management approach, grouping the building and verification processes is a convenient choice. This is because, with digital transformation, building and verification will be about executing the backlog. Also, this phase is about endorsing the change management system. As for the progress, it can be easily measured and helps deprioritize the intangible factors. To ensure successful change management, it is important to integrate the project management tools.

    In addition, it is important to combine the user stories and requirements with the previously-mentioned change management activities. This is because it encourages discussion and collaboration between change leads and developers. With this phase, the change management deliverables have to be sequenced, and the tasks have to be imported into the environment. Lastly, it’s essential to monitor the change backlog and address them while executing the pre-launch tasks.

    • Launch

    Once all the previously-mentioned steps are properly followed, the launch phase can be implemented. However, before the change management plan is launched, the key stakeholders must be trained, and the process must be adapted.

    When you are launching the digital health system, make sure that the medical UI is intuitive. This is because if the user interface isn’t good enough, the healthcare provision will be adversely impacted.

    Need A Leading Change In Healthcare Organizations By Digital Health

    Ensuring optimized change in the healthcare industry is essential because if they don’t deliver the desired outcome or result in confusion, it can result in higher costs. Also, it can impact the quality of patient care. There are different moving parts in the healthcare industry, and they keep evolving. Since everyone goes through healthcare services, there are various factors that can impact the driving of change in healthcare organizations that also necessitates the need for change in the healthcare industry.

    • Medical discoveries – ranging from autism treatments to polio vaccines, medical discoveries have been pushed ahead and forward. These medical discoveries are made through changes in healthcare as it results in the adoption of therapies, treatments, and drugs
    • Tech advancement – there are new software applications for scheduling and billing, along with IoT equipment and telemedicine robots. However, these tech advancements demand the implementation of change management
    • Regulatory variations – the healthcare industry has to comply with different regulations, such as Medicare, ACA, and HIPAA. With changes in the regulations, there is a need for change in healthcare processes which also demands the healthcare personnel to learn new technologies
    • Cost reduction – for leading change in healthcare, it is essential to consider cost reduction and efficiency improvements. Healthcare organizations have to automate various systems to improve efficiency. Also, leading the change helps with promising personnel scheduling for reducing the labor costs.
    • Fluctuations in patient behaviors – the patient behaviors have drastically changed, which has led to changes in the healthcare industry. This is because the healthcare organization needs to learn how to respond to changes in patient behaviors.

    Why Is Culture Change So Difficult In Healthcare Organizations?

    The cultural changes in healthcare organizations can be difficult due to various reasons, such as constraints from stakeholders, insufficient and ineffective leadership, lack of ownership, and lack of diversity on the subcultural levels. To illustrate, culture is the DNA of every healthcare organization, and it determines how different processes are unfolded. It’s needless to say that culture and healthcare organizations are interdependent.

    This is because healthcare organization’s strategies and designs impact the culture and vice versa. It’s pretty evident that a healthcare organization’s culture is fostered across the entire system, and even minor changes will impact the entire system. That being said, cultural change is similar to changing the course of an entire organization. On the other hand, the culture change can be streamlined in healthcare organizations by following the below-mentioned steps;

    • Identifying The Benchmarks & Visions 

    What is the current state? What is the desired place? How long will it take to actualize the desired place? Generally, healthcare organizations tend to implement the change practices without identifying the benchmarks and visions, and they don’t measure the outcomes. That makes it difficult to lead the culture change. So, it is suggested to identify the visions and benchmarks, inclusive of patient outcomes, safety, care, and satisfaction. Also, it’s essential to consider the confidence of staff.

    • Communication 

    The communication strategies during the culture change must be creative, and it should deliver the answer to the question, “what is in it for me?” For this reason, it’s essential to take senior management and administrators on board. In addition, it’s essential to communicate the change to all stakeholders and players, along with objectives, goals, outcomes, and benchmarks.

    • Transparency 

    When we talk about healthcare organizations, it’s challenging to achieve transparency. However, being transparent is essential to gain the trust of associated stakeholders while implementing culture change. This is because employees and stakeholders will adapt to change.

    • Accountability 

    It is essential to create the accountability process and implement them in the healthcare organization for supporting this initiative. For this reason, you need to write down the changes expected from the culture change plan.

    How Digital Health Is Communicating Change In Healthcare?

    Digital technologies have become an essential part of healthcare organizations. It’s safe to say that digital technology has the capacity to revolutionize the medical industry. In addition, digital health in healthcare organizations will improve the efficiency in operations. This digital transformation has improved the healthcare experience. As far as communicating change in a healthcare organization is concerned, digital health has played an influential role through various factors.

    Digital health has become a promising platform for providing access to medical data, and it can impact healthcare decisions. For this reason, digital health can communicate the change in healthcare organizations through the delivery of medical data. Secondly, digital technologies have resulted in big data, which has played an influential role in communicating change within healthcare organizations. This is because the collected data delivers meta-analysis and helps identify the risks along with prevention.

    With digital health, the lines of communication have improved, which is actually a catalyst of increasing the change communication. The bonus addition is making the communication between patients and healthcare providers convenient. Also, the availability of electronic health records promises seamless communication of change within healthcare organizations. The implementation of telemedicine or telehealth is also one of the forms of catalyzing the change in healthcare organizations.

    Resistance To Change In Healthcare Organizations

    There is an evident resistance to changes when it comes down to healthcare. However, there are different areas from where healthcare organizations feel resistance, such as stakeholders unwilling to implement change and from external factors that are out of control. In the section below, we are sharing different areas from where resistance to change can be witnessed within the healthcare organizations, such as;

    • Groups

    The resistance in healthcare organizations comes from different groups and departments. For overcoming resistance from groups and departments, it is essential to have a strong culture and identity because it helps channel the band together.

    • Organization

    The people in upper authority (the ones who are responsible for allocating the funds or implementing the timeline) are generally not very realistic when it comes down to change. That being said, it can result in resistance from the upper authorities.

    • Change Managers

    This is the most intriguing factor because the change managers who are responsible for managing the culture change can become a barrier. For instance, ineffective communication and the absence of change management plans during change plans can result in issues, hence the barriers to change.

    • Technology

    The tools that will be used for facilitating the change can have their errors and issues, hence the stall in projects. For instance, if health organization’s stakeholders are unable to use technology which makes technology a point of resistance to change.

    Can HL7 Integration Help With Hospital Management?

    HL7 is the set of data formatting standards used by healthcare providers for exchanging administrative and clinical data. In particular, HL7 version 2 is widely used by healthcare providers. What’s most intriguing about HL7 is that it can be customized according to different healthcare needs. However, HL7 integration may lead to various challenges.

    The conventional HL7 integration and interface engines are outdated, and with the advancement of the healthcare industry, healthcare providers are demanding high-quality services. For instance, the patients are looking for quick access to their healthcare records while doctors need all that information on their phones. In simpler words, there is a need for a 360-degree patient & healthcare view.

    Now, it’s pretty evident that conventional HL7 integration cannot meet the advanced needs of healthcare providers, which is why it’s essential to rethink the system boundaries.

    • Brainstorming Beyond Conventional HL7 Integration 

    For the longest time, data interoperability and HL7 integration have focused on integrating the apps (connecting one system to another). However, there is a need for non-clinical apps for accessing the data, such as SaaS apps ad mobile apps. For this reason, HL7 messages have to be transformed into data formats that are not known to current clinical systems.

    Consequently, integrating the HL7 messages and formats with API will result in data scaling across different healthcare platforms. In addition, using the APIs will provide quicker access to data, reducing the time consumption for extracting data.

    Barriers To Change In Healthcare Organizations

    • Inaccurate Strategies

    In the majority of cases, healthcare organizations have inefficient and ineffective strategies that actually hold them back. In addition, these inaccurate strategies can result in inflexibility within the leadership and overall structure. Sure, there are multiple priorities, but there is no clarity in the actions. That being said, it will result in ineffective change management.

    • Over-controlling 

    In particular, we are talking about leadership when we talk about over-controlling. Sure, there is a reliance on command-and-control leadership, but it’s time to shift to nurturing and coaching. Healthcare organizations need to have controlled yet not over-controlling leadership to ensure leadership doesn’t become a barrier.

    • Absence Of Two-Way Communication 

    Generally, communication issues occur with the absence of soft skills. For the most part, in most healthcare organizations, the communication travels one one-way, which is from leaders to the staff. Thus, there is a clear lacking of effective two-way communication. This one-way communication barred employees and staff which are the primary affectees of the change from communicating their thoughts and concerns about the change. Needless to say, it results in barriers against the change.

    • Ineffective Workforce Planning 

    There will always be a barrier in terms of ineffective workforce planning because there is not sufficient time or workforce for supporting the change. This is basically because of a lack of skills in teams (the skill deficit, if we may say).

    • Stalling Innovation 

    When it comes down to ideas, the healthcare industry certainly doesn’t have any shortage of ideas. However, there is an evident shortage in capturing the ideas and the absence of leadership to take up those ideas. In addition, the senior leaders are still trapped in the inflexible processes. For this reason, stalled innovation is a significant barrier in the implementation of change.

    • Cheap Project Management 

    With the development of the change plan and its implementation, the inputs are often valued rather than the outcomes, which means there is hardly any space for bottom-up change. The prime reason behind this barrier is inflexible processes and insufficient resources.

    Transforming the Healthcare Organizations

    Technology is perhaps the best change agent for the healthcare organization. Just like telemedicine has shaken up the legacy system of the industry, new technologies are increasingly challenging the legacy healthcare systems. Also, technology and digitalization have impacted how things are done within organizations. Also, the technology is evolving the very foundations and support system for bringing change in the healthcare industry.


    How do you manage change in a healthcare organization?

    Change is a necessity in healthcare organizations, and the industry needs to embrace it. The change in healthcare organizations can be managed by implementing a well-structured process, whereby, all relevant stakeholders are taken on board and made aware of the need and impacts of the change.

    What are some major changes in healthcare today?

    When it comes down to the healthcare industry, there are major changes, such as the shift in healthcare delivery models (telemedicine), protection of data privacy, the emergence of technological innovations, healthcare consumerization, and protection technologies for data privacy.

    What is healthcare change management?

    Healthcare change management is a well-structured and fully integrated approach for transitioning the current healthcare organizations’ position into the desired state in the upcoming future.

    How do you promote change in healthcare?

    Change in healthcare can be promoted by recruiting new roles, training the current employees, implementing the performance goals, optimizing the processes, and sustaining stakeholder engagement.

    How to start a telemedicine business?

    The telemedicine business involves many factors and practices that should be implemented for the successful experience and services. It involves: Licensing, reimbursement, data privacy, third-party application/programs, limited liability, best services, HIPAA Compliance, Recommended bandwidth, right technology partner are the recommended factors.

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