System implementations are known as big lifts to many organizations. To combat the heavy load, there are specific time sensitive strategies that you can implement along the way that will aid in the optimization of your implementation.
Perform a Gap Analysis
A differentiating factor when deeming a system implementation successful begins with performing an in-depth gap analysis. This action item affords you and your team time to prepare for changes needed, as well as gain insight into your current state. As you approach your system implementation, a strong gap analysis provides your leadership team with a feature functionality assessment that forecasts the system’s strengths and weaknesses as it aligns to your organization’s staffing structure and operational processes. It is best to think of this analysis as a roadmap on how to best prepare your staff for change.
Through this gap analysis, the key to remember is that you are optimizing prior to the start of the system configuration, rather than going in blind. Therefore, you will create the time and support to enact change before disrupting status-quo without the potential loss of revenue. For instance, the staffing model may be reconfigured, complimentary software can be demo-ed, communication pathways are outlined; all in an effort to complement your new EHR system.
Establishing an Optimization Team
When we move our organization from one state to another, you must first identify executive sponsorship. The Optimization team is a multi-disciplinary team made up of a diversified collection of key stakeholders and champions of change throughout your organization. This requires the development of 2 core committees – Governance and Steering.
- The governance committee provides executive sponsorship to assist everyone’s move through the change process and ensures consistent communication with staff. If leadership is not on board with the change, your staff will be reluctant to support it.
- The steering committee will be a more detail-oriented group, charged with carrying out project tasks, making specific decisions, and monitoring progress going forward. It is suggested that you include Vice Presidents, clinical and operational managers, internal subject matter experts, and at times, outside counsel as team members.
The focus of the optimization team is to identify operational inefficiencies and implement solutions. It is crucial to keep a keen eye on the future for internal bottlenecks that highlight areas of opportunity for system optimization, ancillary system use, or introduction and external changes such as payor shifts, regulatory changes, and market demands. It is recommended to keep the optimization team, or at very least the Governance and Steering Committee, engaged at all times to continuously evaluate your organization and the industry’s climate, especially as you move through a system implementation.
Lead via Change Management Strategies
Under the Kübler-Ross model, people receive change with a wave of emotions starting with denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ending with acceptance. This rings true for all staff when change is initiated in the work environment, including system conversations and optimization initiatives. You should be aware that your staff will experience these emotions no matter how small the change. One of the best ways to offer support is to increase transparency behind the change and offer substantial reasoning.
When initiating a change movement, in this case a system implementation, there needs to be a sense of urgency established, along with a dissatisfaction with the current status quo. This will help drive momentum and build a guiding coalition for your change initiatives. Champions of change will identify themselves and start adopting the future state in which you are leading your organization towards. Keep in mind, just as the champions of change identify themselves, the naysayers will simultaneously begin to raise their hands. This is where reducing resistance and incubating the influencers will increase momentum and create a sound foundation for a culture change to occur.
While system implementations and transitioning within an organization can be overwhelming, efficient strategizing goes a long way to unlocking your full potential. With proper planning and the right tools, optimizing your implementation is possible. During times of vast change, partnering with experts, such as McBee, to assist in decision-making, discover areas of opportunity, and help achieve a seamless transition is key. Contact us today to learn how our team of experts can help you with your system implementation.