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Leading Through Change in Healthcare Technology Management

Author:  Stephanie Murray, Senior Director, Epic Services

In life and in the workplace, change is something we have learned to expect. Thousands of books and blogs have been written about ways to set expectations, minimize the stress, adapt, and embrace the change.

Now more than ever, technology is at the forefront of healthcare and the drivers of change can come from a variety of sources. However, regardless of source or our willingness to evolve, acknowledging and adapting to change can have its challenges.

How to shine through healthcare technology change

The impacts of 2020 introduced additional uncertainties and stress for IT teams supporting the technology needs of patients and providers alike. Regardless of the healthcare IT solution changes your organization is facing, these practical tips can help you successfully lead the way.

     1. Consider the big picture

Allow yourself time to process the change. Evaluate the pros and cons. By taking time to acknowledge the good and the bad, you can acclimate to the idea of change and begin to focus more on your approach and strategy. For example, will you be part of an acquisition (either being acquired or acquiring another solution)? Take a moment to process what this means to all those involved. Outline your questions so you can more clearly articulate how the change will impact you, your team, and your organization.

As experienced, objective partners working in tandem with health system leaders, we know that decisions surrounding go-forward technology solutions are complex, and when poorly planned, they can be costly. Perhaps your looming decision is: do we continue using MEDITECH or Epic, or should we transition to another EHR? How do we best support patient care and healthcare IT during these big transitions? We help clients move through the process from system selection and implementation to optimization and maintenance by providing comprehensive yet customized Epic services.

     2. Determine the benefits of the change

Although the initial reaction to change is often negative, discovering the benefits or opportunities, however hidden they may be, will help you lead your organization with a more positive outlook. With a more positive disposition toward the change, you are more likely to see viable, sustainable solutions and to foster more productive collaboration. For example, is there a new piece of functionality that will take a significant effort or investment, but you don’t feel that your team has the bandwidth to take it on? Determine what the change means to the organization as a whole and how the new functionality compares to other priorities your team has. How can you make your organization successful? Could you involve a different team or partner to help share in the effort so your company can accelerate the change and more adeptly mitigate the risk?

Driving continuous EHR optimization can significantly impact the perception and adoption of EHR solutions with your physicians, nurses, and care teams. Focused optimization projects can be achieved quickly for big wins improving the value of your Epic platform. One such example is using the Clinical Care Classification System for streamlining nursing plans of care (POCs). The implementation of this content has varying degrees of involvement, but by teaming up with a trusted partner, you could see the benefits while your team is simultaneously focused on other initiatives.

     3. Let go of apprehension and strategize with trusted peers or leadership

Change can sometimes come with apprehension and mixed feelings. For example, did you begin ramping up for a product only to learn that your organization is no longer going in that direction? Help your organization achieve what’s best by acknowledging any emotions or disappointment. Then, lean into objectivity so your perspective is clearer, which will help you determine how the progress you’ve made thus far can contribute to your continued success. Core principles and understanding from one product can often be transferred to other products, even if a change in direction occurs.

Collaborate with trusted peers or leadership on an approach to the new change, especially if the initial groundwork that was laid needs to be re-evaluated. Not only will strategizing together help build a solid new foundation but will also create the opportunity to serve as a sounding board for one another. Perhaps one person’s con is seen as a pro by another and the exchange of ideas can further advance the group as a whole. Try asking questions to learn more about why the decision was made and the rationale for selecting a new product. Look for potential benefits to the direction that you were previously unaware of.

Bottom line

Whether a change in your IT landscape comes from within your organization or from the outside, processing change and leading through it can sometimes be more difficult than the technology change itself. CereCore is ready to be your trusted partner and help you navigate the winding road of change. Get a glimpse into what partnership with us is like though this client’s journey through change.

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