Implementation Insights Blog

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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Organizational Change Management Should Be A Core Capability for Healthcare Transformation

There's a lot in the news right now about the need for healthcare transformation, both in the U.S. and the UK. While there are differences in the current state and the future vision depending on the country, healthcare transformation won't be successful without significant attention being paid to the implementation of these changes.

Naturally, there is focus on healthcare IT, including electronic medical records and other technology improvements, and attention on healthcare business process improvement, there's a lot less discussion on healthcare change management. How do you get adoption and behavior change in a complex organization structure involving nurses, physicians, technicians and a variety of healthcare professionals who have important work to do? Work disruption created by significant organizational change can impact quality of patient care, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes.

If you are concerned about how to manage resistance to change (yes, it is inevitable) and how to accelerate healthcare business changes, you have to develop internal capability across the organization. Organizational change management consulting has to be focused not on doing it for you, but on how you can do it better for yourself.

These changes are not going to end anytime soon, so your organization best be prepared with a systematic and systemic approach for implementing healthcare transformation that can be repeated for the programmatic changes you will continue to experience. If you can unite in using a common framework like IMA's Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) to build change agent capacity, if you can use a common language, and common deliverables across all the healthcare transformation changes you will gain acceleration and reduce the human casualties of organizational change.

We do have examples of success that we can point to in the healthcare environment where change management best practices have been applied. For example, in Australia, the New South Wales Health organization has been using IMA's AIM methodology for a variety of clinical transformations, including electronic medical records. IMA's role in institutionalizing the AIM methodology has been to provide organizational change management consulting focused on teaching change agents and sponsors involved in a variety of healthcare transformation activities how to tactically apply change management principles that will improve change readiness, sponsorship, communications and behavioral change reinforcements.

Healthcare transformation and organizational change management must be considered together in order to achieve implementation success and project return on investment.

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