Change Management-The Key to Successfully Re-engineering Health Care Solutions

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Change Management

Sharon Gabrielson
Section Head- Adminsitrative Operations Support
The Mayo Clinic

Historically, the re-engineering of systems and processes for health care delivery have focused on the design, development, and implmentation of technical and process solutions. This session will outline how The Mayo Clinic identified the need for managing the "human side" of change and embedded change management deliverables into the project to ensure successful implementation and adoption of the new systems and processes.

Change Management A critical component to re engineering health care systems

Re engineering health care in our organization has historically focused largely on technology and processes. Improved access is not always easy to apply in health care setting as it runs counter intuitive to the deeply held beliefs about scheduling systems and what can be achieved with the resources at hand. The major barriers are the fear of change and the lack of confidence that the existing resources can meet the demand for care. The patient access re engineering efforts at The Mayo Clinic have achieved major strides in the design of systems and procedures for faster, more efficient, patient focused access to meet the complex needs of patients receiving health care in our specialty group practice. Historically, the typical re engineering process involved technical and process related changes that progress throughout the project life cycle (from concept to design, development and implementation). However, while the design of technical and process solutions has received a great deal of attention and provides great potential, the transformation of these designs and solutions to actual clinical practice has always posed significant challenges.

When undertaking the project to re engineer the patient scheduling system, we were determined to create solutions that would be embraced by the users and key stakeholders. We identified the need for need for managing the people side of change as a necessary element for insuring effective design, development, implementation and adoption of the new technical systems and processes. We will share how embedded change management in the project plan from inception and carried it through the evaluation phase.

The structured approach to change management included building an awareness of the need for change, actively engaging leadership to guide the cultural shift that is needed, designing cross functional teams that included end users and key stakeholders, and creating and implementing a communication plan. By putting the specific change management tasks and deliverables into our project plan, and including these as dependencies for the other components of the project, we were able to achieve our goals.

The formal implementation of a structured approach to change management ensured that we delivered a product that met the needs of the business and was embraced by the end users. As a result, we were able to create more efficient systems and processes that allowed for a reduction in scheduler FTEs, faster turnaround time for scheduling, and improved staff and patient satisfaction.