Implementation Insights Blog

Implementation Management Associates help organizations around the world achieve large-scale, complex change. This blog discusses our insights into organizational change.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Now is the Time to Build Healthcare Change Management into Healthcare IT Initiatives

I had two reactions after my first visit to the trade show floor at the recent HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Conference in Chicago. First, the investment being made in healthcare informatics, including electronic medical records, is enormous. Second, why isn’t healthcare change management more visible in the healthcare information technology world?

It would be virtually impossible not to be impressed with the range of healthcare IT software presented on the show floor. The fact remains, though, that healthcare organizations that are looking to build efficiency and improve patient outcomes will be disappointed in healthcare IT results unless healthcare change management is part of their project plans. We know that like all other technology initiatives, the failure/sub-optimized rate for healthcare information technology runs in the 70-80% range.

I took heart, however, from a HIMSS roundtable discussion of healthcare informatics CIO’s who all clearly saw that healthcare change management was a key component in their own success. These CIOs weren’t exactly sure how to surround the problems of technology adoption, collaboration between IT and the business, and other “people” issues. They were certain, though, that the long-term success of healthcare information technology was more than a hardware and software issue.

With so much attention now focused on healthcare informatics as a foundational piece of the healthcare transformation agenda, it’s time to bring healthcare change management to the forefront. We’re not talking about making people feel good about change; we’re talking about actions that will lead to improved business results and Return on Investment.

Given the financial resources being spent on healthcare information technology, doesn’t it make sense to also invest in making sure people will use the systems we are building?

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