Change Management as Part of the Process of Digitization of a Medical Facility

Medical facilities are increasingly striving to digitize many processes and services. The source of this increased need can be seen, for example, in the COVID-19 pandemic, which in a way forced the health service to implement digital, telemedicine solutions. However, along with the need to implement a change in the facility, the question arises: how to do it right?

Implementing a change in an enterprise is a difficult and demanding process – and it is no different in the case of medical facilities. Therefore, let’s decide what to do to ensure that the implementation of new solutions – often very advanced technologically – runs smoothly and is successful. 

Recently, many institutions have been forced to redefine systems such as labor, employment, human capital management, and bonuses. A large number of existing processes have been transferred to online versions, and some of them have to be built completely from scratch. In such a situation, the basis is proper planning of activities and preparation of personnel to function in the new, changed reality.

Change management – a response to the needs of the facility

First of all, it is necessary to consider what changes are necessary in the facility and what result we want to achieve. Perhaps you are still hesitant to introduce video consultations or e-services? Maybe the new, comprehensive HIS (hospital information system) system would facilitate the work of the staff? Or maybe you want to expand your offer with remote medical care? Think about the needs of your facility, and which of them are worth addressing as a priority.

Next, an action plan should be developed to help achieve the expected effect, and you should assess the possible risks on the way to the digitization of processes. It will also be helpful to have a global, objective look at how the implemented changes will translate into the real work of the facility’s staff and its results. Here, it is necessary to determine how we will coordinate the entire plan for the implementation of the change, and how we can respond to potential threats.

Are employees afraid of changes?

Not if they are properly prepared for them. Remember that even the best-designed process may turn out to be worthless if we do not prepare staff, as they are the most important people affected by it. Therefore, at this stage it is worth answering a few simple questions.

  • Do employees know about the planned change and how it was presented to them?
  • Do the staff have the information necessary to perform the work during the shift process?
  • Do employees have the right skills and knowledge to go through the shift?

Each employee can be a positive or negative force for the facility, which will facilitate the introduction of change or, on the contrary, will create a barrier preventing its adaptation. The most important element is the  manager and their support during the implementation of changes. 

How to communicate the implementation of the change?

In order to properly prepare the employees of the facility for the upcoming shifts (regardless of what they concern), it is worth planning a meeting where you will discuss topics such as:

  • Area of change – indicating the benefits for the functioning of the entire organization
  • Vision of the change, its objectives and planned effects – explaining the benefits of the situation for each of the parties
  • An action plan taking into account all the necessary elements, specifying the appropriate pace and scope of changes
  • The way in which the manager will monitor the course of the change – such as how often they should receive reports and what indicators are important to them
  • Openness to correction of the implemented change, questions and suggestions
  • Open communication regarding emerging problems
  • Periodic monitoring after the implementation of the change carried out by, for example, an external audit.

Now you know how to properly approach the process of implementing change on the way to digitization. If telemedicine is a change that your medical facility needs, we encourage you to visit the Comarch Healthcare website. There, you will find many different solutions and products for institutions, doctors, regions, companies and offices. If you’d like to learn more about our offer, use the dedicated form that will put you in touch with our consultant.

Katarzyna Strzebońska, Comarch Healthcare

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