The MediSked Blog

4 Keys to a Successful Change Management Process

Posted by Mike Holihan on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 @ 08:59 AM

For provider agencies that are looking for software or technology to unify their agency, become more compliant and eliminate paperwork, the focus normally begins on software products and feature sets that are out on themarket. As any agency that has transitioned to paperless successfully will tell you, that is not the actual starting point. Problems and challenges bubble up at provider agencies using paper based systems and staff gets buried in the job of managing paperwork instead of the job they were hired to do. But the problem usually isn’t the actual paper. It could be the processes, staff commitment, or executive leadership to name a few. That’s why the most important concept for provider agencies to focus on when choosing and implementing a software solution isn’t the software.   It’s the change management process. Keeping in mind that transitioning to a paperless world effects everyone in your organization, if change management is not done properly it can very quickly derail a software implementation. That is an expense proposition not only in budget terms but also in executive leadership losing the confidence of their employees.

1. Which is why we start with Executive Buy In as the number one key to success. Staff takes their cues from the executive level, including forming their opinion on a new technology. If the executive team is excited and involved in the process, staff underneath them will be as well. If parts of the executive team are actually involved in the project of implementing a new technology you have the highest potential of success. Other project members witness that commitment firsthand and actually doing some of the project work is the greatest way to inspire others. In many cases, the executive team is not involved in the technology implementation project and that’s still ok. The approval of the executive team to allow the project team the authority and control to change or implement policies and procedures in order to achieve the proposed ROI of the new solution is the next best thing. Status meetings and morale boosters are an effective to stay engaged with the project.

2. Successful program staff ownership. The people that will be using the technology and fundamentally shifting the way they perform their job duties also have a big part in the success of technology implementation. The key is finding specific staff members that can be your champion of the change and the technology. Getting them on board early and giving them some responsibility in the project will empower them and also give the technology and change credibility to others. If you have employees resistant to change (who doesn’t?), the easiest way to make them more comfortable is allowing them to see firsthand how their peers are being successful with it and how it directly can make their lives easier. A team of eager staff willing to accept and promote change will go a long way in making the change positive and successful.

3.  Taking time to map out or understand current workflows.  Understanding your most efficient route to completing tasks before the technology implementation occurs is vital.  Understanding how service notes are collected and reviewed, the steps and people involved in billing claims, how you currently match time and attendance to billable hours and more are all important to understand step by step before you are running with a new technology. By mapping out and understanding current workflows, you can better identify specific inefficiencies you want to fix and the roles of staff that you will need to help you during implementation.  You can also be better at picking the right solution that will help solve the specific inefficiencies you’ve identified. Too often, this step is skipped in the beginning and is figured out during or after the technology implementation. This stunts a true understanding of what the technology is doing and can be seen as a threat to staff that were not involved in the process mapping ahead of time.

4.  Having a well thought out training program once the technology is chosen and implemented is the final key. Hopefully, your technology vendor has training programs or best practices they can advise on to help you with this process. However, it does take planning and commitment at the executive level to make training a priority. Any technology is only as good as the people using it. So without a formal training plan or commitment, you can bet that staff will not understand how to use the technology. And when staff doesn't understand how to use it, they won’t accept it and they won’t use it.  Training will ensure proper usage and in the end make their jobs easier and more rewarding.


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Tags: Change Management, Executive Leadership, Technology

Top Ten Questions we get asked - #10 Do all of my staff have to use this?

Posted by Mike Holihan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 @ 09:14 AM

If we had a nickel for every time we hear this one!  The answer is yes and no.  To fully utilize an agency management platform like Connect, having every employee log into the system and do their notes or whatever their job requires them to do will make the agency tremendously more efficient than it would be if it were using a paper system.  You would be drastically reducing the amount of paperwork and time to collect and organize the paperwork, as well as have all of your documentation forever connected to an audited shift.  With that being said, some agencies still prefer to have their field staff use paper and bring in an AMP at the point of billing.  There is no one right way to use a system like Connect, however there is a most efficient way and that is getting everyone involved.

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Tags: Executive Leadership, Staff Management