Planned Change in a Department or Unit
Introduction Organizational change cannot be avoided; it is one of the significant critical success factors that an organization has to incorporate in its policies. Organizational change aims at motivating the employees to accept the changes which have to be implemented in the present business context (Kotler, 1996). Organizational change can include various concepts such as: operational changes, which principally entails a change in the manner through which the business executes its business processes; technological changes, changes in the organizational culture and strategic changes. A Problem, Inefficiency, or Issue within a Specific Department/Unit At present, nurses make use of the conventional paper-based approaches to manage the daily operations at the hospital.
The conventional paper-based healthcare results in inefficiencies characterized by increased chances of human errors, lack of patient safety, and wrong prescriptions. Fundamentally, paper-based approaches to healthcare impose negative impacts to both the patient and the healthcare organization, which poses the need to devise an effective approach that nurses and healthcare professionals in the hospital can utilize to increase their effectiveness and efficiency (Lele, 2005). A Specific, Realistic Change That Could Be Made To Address the Issue Computer-aided healthcare is one of the most important applications of computer systems that seek to eliminate human errors associated with the conventional pen and paper approaches to medicine. Computers are supposed to be used as a tool for reducing the costly errors, enhancing patient safety and quality of the medical procedures. One of the most significant ways that computer systems ensure the above is through providing a framework for electronic storage of patient’s data and other related information such as the patient’s family history (Lele, 2005).
In addition, computer systems can be used in keeping track of patient’s prescription and information relating to billing. The computer system can query the medical database concerning the allowable and non-allowable medical prescriptions concerning a patient’s state. Through this, computers can avoid costly errors in medicine such as erroneous prescriptions. In comparison to the traditional pen and paper system, a doctor is more likely to make errors that may otherwise turn to be costly on the patient’s life due to wrong prescriptions. This implies that computer-based healthcare is more productive and effective compared to the traditional pen and paper system deployed in most hospitals in the present times. Nurses can use computer systems to track and analyze test results by comparison with the medical database (Lele, 2005).
Computer applications in medicine stretch beyond just storage of patient’s data and tracking of prescription records. Other medical applications of computers in medicine include software that can be used in the diagnosis of patients given the symptoms, examination of the body tissues. Recent development saw computer systems aid in carrying out surgical operations. In fact, a large number of medical equipments ued to monitor patient progress used in health utilities are computer based. This denotes the significance of computer technologies in medicine. Time constraints should not be used as an excuse at the expense of costly errors associated with the conventional paper based approach to medicine (Lele, 2005).
How the Change Aligns with the Organization’s Mission, Vision, and Values As well As Relevant Professional Standards The mission and vision of the organization places emphasis on the provision of high quality healthcare, which can only be facilitated by the adoption of effective nursing practices such as computer-aided healthcare applications. Therefore, the implementation of electronic health records at the organization will play an integral role in helping the organization realize its vision. Regarding its values, the organization places emphasis on two core elements: the effectiveness and productivity of nurses, and the use nursing practices that guarantee patient safety. The current pen and paper nursing approaches used by the organization does not provide a working environment and culture that guarantees 100 percent nurse productivity, efficiency and effectiveness as well as patient safety (Lele, 2005). In light with this view, the adoption of the electronic medical records will create a workplace environment that fosters nurses’ productivity while at the same time guaranteeing patient safety.
Regarding professional standards, it is apparent that the implementation of electronic health records system at the hospital will ensure that nurses deliver high quality and effective healthcare services that are error free (Lele, 2005).Change Model or Strategy to Guide Your Planning For Implementing the Change The change model advocated in this study was the Kurt Lewin’s three step change model, which entails unfreezing, transition, and freezing. Unfreezing entails lessening the forces that seek to retain the status quo and destroying the existing mindset. Unfreezing can be done by presenting a problem experienced at the organization in order to ensure that people see the need for change and begin looking for new solutions. Transition entails the development of new attitudes, values and behaviors using process changes, organizational structure and development techniques (William, 2003). Freezing is the final phase of implementing the new change and doing away with the old ways.
The Kurt Lewin change model is the most appropriate for this situation because the nurses are used to the paper-based approaches to provide healthcare services; therefore, getting them to make use a new technology is likely to be met with resistance. Therefore, the change process ought to be gradual, as advocated by the Kurt Lewin change model (William, 2003). Steps To Follow To Facilitate the Change Before the implementation of a change process, it is imperative to carry out a critical analysis of the current business environment in order to evaluate whether the implementation of change is justified. Effective change implementation depends on the effectiveness of the change management strategies that the organization deploys. Prior to implementation of change, a buusiness enterprise must ensure that there are effective change management strategies in place. Change management strategies serve to combat the challenges associated with the implementation of change in the organization (Petch, 2009).
The second critical process in implementation of change is the outlining of a clearly stated vision for the change process. A clearly articulated vision for change plays a significant role in keeping the change implementation process on track. What this implies is that the key driving factors behind the implementation of the change process are put into consideration. With a clearly outlined vision for change, challenges such as change resistance are easily dealt with. In fact, having a vision for change process is one of the most effective approaches to ensuring change readiness in an organization through outlining of the benefits associated with the adoption of new approaches to leadership and execution of business processes (William, 2003).
The vision for change helps the organization to outline its business goals and daily business processes that are significant in determining the success of the organization. A shared vision implies that the organization commitment towards the change is exhibited at all the organizational levels ranging from the top level management to the lower level in house staff. This plays an important role in ensuring that change implementation process is successful. A vision for change is likely to be more effective if it is initiated from the middle and entails the participation of all the members of the business organization at all the levels, including the external stakeholders. The actual implementation is the third stage during the implementation of change at the organization. Organizational change is implemented according to the organizational requirements that fostered the change process.
Change can be structural, management oriented or even operational oriented depending on the key business functions of the organization. Change implementation is not over until the business enterprise adopts effective strategies to manage the transformational period. Transformational period is usually characterized by significant losses in cases where the employees of the organization take more time to adjust to the change implemented at the organization. The effects associated with the transformational period are dependent on the flexibility of the organization. The more a flexible an organization is, the more effective it will be in tackling issues associated with transformational period (Kotler, 1996).
People Involved In Initiating and Managing This Change Systematic transition entails involving every medical personnel during the implementation of the system in order to combat the difficulties and frustrations that may encounter during early usage of information technology in medicine (Lele, 2005). The transition from a free environment to a more controlled working environment is one of the significant constraints associated with implementation of electronic health record keeping. The department/unit managers will also play a pivotal role in ensuring that change process is successful through effective articulation of the vision for change and the use of appropriate leadership skills to motivate their teams to embrace the change.