NtC Video Podcasts March 7, 2024

NtC 34: Become a Change Manager

by Barry P Chaiken, MD
Navigating the Code is available at navigcatingthecode.com, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, and Audible.

Transforming healthcare requires effective change managers. While each organization is unique and filled with its policies, procedures, and politics, effecting change lies in leveraging our knowledge, insights, and decision-making skills. I put together a few critical steps to ensuring success as a change manager.

In planning your project, begin in stealth mode. You want as much freedom as possible without oversight to explore all potential paths forward freely and creatively. If you must gain written approval from your management, ensure you have a preliminary written statement of purpose to explain your project. It need not be long, but it must touch on the critical points of your project. A properly written project memo includes the following:

  • The problem: Specifically, the need for a holistic system for achieving desired outcomes, detailing what’s working, what isn’t, and why.
  • Comparative analysis: What similar institutions face the same challenges, and what are their strategies for addressing them?
  • The benefits: Solving this issue can enhance processes, workflows, and the patient experience. Explain how you will use healthcare IT system analysis tools to improve, design, and implement a new workflow system. The anticipated benefits for the institution include time, money, and human resources savings.
  • Timeline: Your proposed solution must include a timeline for your skunk works team to tackle this task.

To embark on this path, a thorough walkthrough of existing processes and workflows, gathering comparative data, and recruiting a dedicated team for your skunk works project is essential. Your team should comprise individuals from diverse departments, reflecting a comprehensive approach to institutional improvement.

As we navigate these initial steps, remember that the journey may require C-suite approval. Approach this through a proof-of-concept project or preliminary focus groups to garner early support. Your skunk works team’s first project should aim to gather and analyze data effectively, presenting findings to senior management for the green light on proposed changes.

Embarking on a change management project within healthcare is a journey of discovery, innovation, and strategic planning. We can significantly impact our healthcare institutions by assembling a diverse team, conducting a thorough analysis, and proposing actionable solutions. I encourage each of you to identify an area for improvement and become the change manager who spearheads its enhancement. Together, we can revolutionize healthcare, one transformation at a time.

I look forward to your thoughts so please put them in this post and subscribe to my other video series Future-Primed Healthcare on my Dr Barry Speaks channel on YouTube.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.