With an unprecedented number of healthcare provider mergers and acquisitions in recent years and new requirements being ushered in with the Affordable Care Act, healthcare professionals are in a constant state of technology systems transition. Though replacing a legacy system can be necessary and even beneficial to patient care or a hospital’s bottom line, times of transition deeply impact the people these organizations are relying on to provide quality care and keep the healthcare organization running efficiently.
To consider the implementation of a new system a success, you need to do more than make it to launch day on time and under budget. Your employees—the intended users of the new technology—need to understand the “why” behind the switch and actually use the system as intended with their sanity intact. In my experience, this can only be accomplished by engaging your people and giving them a voice at every step in the process.
Before selecting a new system for your hospital or healthcare organization, it is essential to get the right people at the table to create a roadmap for the transition process. Be sure to involve and gather feedback from:
- Employees who can think critically about workflow efficiencies so you can ensure that you aren’t carrying bad practices forward with the new system.
- People who are highly knowledgeable about the current technology in place and its limitations. They will have invaluable insights into problems that any future systems need to solve.
- Anyone who has a vested interest in the new system. If the new technology is clinical in nature, you need to make sure physicians and nurses have a voice. If it’s a change in back-office technology, human resources professionals or accountants who will use this technology regularly will need to be invited into the conversation.
- Any department who will deal with a heavier-than-normal workload during the parallel running process or launch.
These groups have the expertise and high levels of investment to help your executive team document your current process, find the right technology to replace your legacy system, determine real costs, and set a reasonable timeline.