Procuring a new hospital management system often takes many months and requires buy-in and approval from different stakeholders during the process, including clinicians, purchasing agents, and C-suite executives. However, procurement is truly just the precursor to actually achieving improvement in your operation. And oftentimes, end users and key stakeholders (e.g., nurses and surgeons) were not involved in the buying process. In fact, they might not even be aware of the new technology until they get an invite for a kickoff meeting. Although this is definitely not a best practice, it’s often the reality. So how do implementation professionals turn that around to quickly achieve enthusiastic support from the end users? 

In our experience as implementation professionals, we’ve found that these 5 principles can ensure your organization benefits as quickly as possible from any new hospital management system.

 

Implement the Hospital Management System with a Collaborative Discovery Process

Even if end-users were not involved in the procurement process, it is imperative to bring them into the workflow design process during implementation. When working with key stakeholders, it is important to get them involved in designing the new workflows and adopting best practices. Getting input from the start, and working together through the process is a critical step in stickiness. With a collaborative discovery process, implementation professionals work together to document the current workflow and pain points, get buy-in that we understand their challenges, and then design an updated workflow using the new technology that will be deployed. It is helpful when building the new workflow to highlight the areas where pain points will be reduced or eliminated. We can’t stress enough the importance of buy-in and collaboration with the end users throughout the project.

 

Find Your Internal Project Champions Early

Identifying and involving project champions will go a long way towards adoption. As we work with a new client, we push for clinical champions. An example would be that when implementing perioperative solutions, we need to have surgeon champions on the team. Members that have seen the platform, understand the value it brings, and have influence with their peers. These champions can help by encouraging others to see the value in the small amount of work leading up to the process/technology change.  

Demonstrating the impact of the recommended workflow to end users will help drive the confidence within the organization that making these changes will benefit the individual, as well as the overall efficiency targets. In some instances, an organization will opt to begin use of the platform with a subset of the organization. This approach can ease the transition, show the ease of the new workflows, and create buzz and demand with other areas within the hospital. Our customers tell us that our analytics solutions provide quick and easy data that help simplify meeting preparation and accurate metrics, and that our workflow tools create transparency and efficiencies that were previously unattainable.

 

Focus on the Benefits of the Hospital Management System, Not the Technology

Although Hospital IQ is a technology solution to improve healthcare operations management, from the end-users’ perspective, it’s a new workflow. The underlying technological advances are really of no interest to the end-users; what’s important to them is how the solution helps make their daily work easier. Demonstrating the impact of the new workflows to end users quickly drives their confidence that making these changes will help them as individuals. Instead of bombarding them with details on the underlying technology advances, show them the user interface and workflow, focusing on the benefits to their specific workday. When they recognize a solution clearly designed with their major workday challenges in mind, skeptical individuals quickly become converts.

 

Messaging Matters When Starting a New Hospital Management System

The term “Go Live ” can be stressful for many end users who have been involved in large hospital IT implementations. However, for solutions like Hospital IQ, the lift is very small. With careful planning and communication, getting started on a new system can actually be very seamless. Let the end users know this from the start and show them that you’ll listen to them, configure the system to meet their needs, and get them up and running with speed and agility. We favor the term “Getting Started” to “Go Live”, and provide items such as introduction posters, computer splash screens, and meeting handouts with details on the benefits and how to sign up for information sessions. These are displayed throughout the organization in lounges and other areas of the hospital to raise awareness of the upcoming new system(s), and get multiple teams excited and aligned. So instead of an ominous “Go Live”, we opt to communicate in terms that highlight the benefits, e.g.,

  • New Surgeon Marketplace Coming Soon: Sign Up to Easily Find and Request OR Time
  • Discharge Team Members: Get Started with New Communication and Task Assignment System 
  • Nursing Unit Leaders: Get Details on New Predictive Demand and Staff Allocation System

Be a Partner When Managing Change, Not a Vendor

In all change management processes, the biggest impact an implementation team can bring is to partner with your stakeholders. Your role is to deliver on the value your solution provides, make it easy for end-users to adopt, and establish the new processes that make it seamless to maintain the new workflows for sustainable improvement. Success, for both your organization and your client organizations, is dependent on your ability to set each stakeholder up for sustainable operational improvement. You must show them the short-term learning curve will be quickly replaced with workflows that truly ease their workday. 

Stakeholders must be confident you’ll be with them, elbow-to-elbow, to see them through, and you must deliver on that promise. Your biggest compliment will be clients who tell you that your solution has simplified their workday, created transparency and efficiencies that were previously unattainable, and they can’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things. Once that happens, you’re woven into the fabric of the organization and lasting operational improvement in your hospital is the result.

 

Vikram Vittal, MS, PMP, is Hospital IQ’s Senior Project Manager, Implementation

Peter Gould, MBA, is Hospital IQ’s Vice President, Implementation Services

 

Subscribe to the Hospital IQ Newsletter now to receive our latest content like this right in your inbox!