NtC Video Podcasts August 1, 2023

NtC 19: Truths About Change

by Barry P Chaiken, MD
From Navigating the Code: How Revolutionary Technology Transforms the Patient-Physician Journey

When most people think about change, their attitude varies from sighs to resignation to resistance. We rarely view change positively; we tend not to look forward to its influences. Yet with change being a constant in all human experience and behavior, why is this so? Why do we resist change? Why do we prefer to think we are comfortable with things just as they are?

We do not want to fix something we do not believe is broken. And the last thing we want to do is actively promote and drive—manage—change. Change management is a task better left to someone else. At a later time, we might decide whether or not we want to get on board with it. Perhaps we use the excuse that it is above our pay grade.

There are fixed truths about change.

Change is inevitable. We can either allow random, unpredictable change or manage change to the best of our ability.

Change is not inherently dissociative or bad. It has no connotations of goodness or evil. Einstein said the measure of intelligence is in one’s capacity for change. And Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

The healthcare worker confronts two types of change daily: immediate, disruptive change and gradual, insistent change.

Disruptive change is like working in the ED—you never know the next patient’s problem: a heart attack, an auto accident, or a stroke.

Insistent change builds up gradually, like seeing a trend line documenting an increase in specific chronic diseases visiting a clinic or the rise in the use of a particular addictive pain medication.

Both types of change have the effect of being either positive or negative influences on how they affect the healthcare facility. Disruptive change usually cannot be accounted for; its fundamental nature is random. But insistent change can be more orderly, even process-driven.

COVID-19 is an example of a disruptive change that became insistent. Either type of change may begin as positive or negative, but some often do a one-eighty turn and become the other. I term these Changepoints.

In my next podcast, I will further define Changepoints and their importance in managing change.

I look forward to your thoughts, so please submit your comments in this post. And subscribe to my weekly newsletter, “What’s Your Take?” on DocsNetwork.com. Thanks for your time today.

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