8 ways to manage change, not just HIT implementation

There's a way to manage change associated with health IT, healthcare consultant Frank Speidel, M.D., says--eight ways, to be more precise.

Writing at HITConsultant.net, Speidel, chief medical officer for the Health IT staffing firm Healthcare IT Leaders, identifies what he calls eight "ates" for managing that change (check out the full post for more detail):

  • Contemplate the changes IT implementation brings to the health system and its operations by convening a diverse group representing different elements of the organization.

  • Communicate to understand "the why, where and what of the change" and where the change is taking the organization.

  • Cultivate thought leaders to serve on a planning group and champion implementation.

  • Anticipate obstacles and script responses.

  • Motivate staff by demonstrating the goal of implementation is to improve care.

  • Evaluate progress incrementally and share successes with staff.

  • Celebrate successes in each stage of implementation, including recognizing physicians who complete training goals.

  • Regenerate by rotating membership on the central planning team, which also expands the breadth and depth of IT implementation knowledge across the organization.

Farzad Mostashari, M.D., former national coordinator for health IT, said recently at the CHIME CIO forum that being a chief information officer "is as much about change management and governance as it is about electronics. You're going to have to use those tools to the max."

He said health IT implementation is part of the larger challenge of transforming healthcare.

"We've been shackled," he said. "Trying to change a system like healthcare? It's really hard. And when there are forces that mitigate against that change in so many different ways, that are keeping the status quo in place, it becomes nearly impossible."

The good news is that the health IT piece of the pie will improve. "Technology gets better," he said.

For more information:
- read the commentary