Health care organizations are continuously immersed in change from the emergence of new policies, to promote quality care and improve patient safety to keeping pace with the rapid growth in knowledge and best practices. Establishing a solid framework for planning and implementing change is a wise move, as it provides a foundation for the extensive coordination that will be needed to successfully facilitate the change.
For this Assignment, you propose a change at the department or unit level and develop a plan for guiding the change effort.
Review Chapter 8 in the course text. Focus on Kurt Lewinâ€™s change theory, and contrast it with other classic change models and strategies.
Reflect on problems, inefficiencies, and critical issues within a specific department, unit, or area in your organization or one with which you are familiar. Select one issue as a focal point for this assignment, and consider a change that could be made to address the issue.
Think about how the change would align with the organizationâ€™s mission, vision, and values as well as relevant professional standards.
Using one of the change models or strategies discussed in Chapter 8, begin formulating a plan for implementing the change within the department/unit. Outline the steps that you and/or others should follow to facilitate the change effort. Align these steps to the change model or strategy you selected.
Determine who should be involved in initiating and managing the change. Consider the skills and characteristics that are necessary to facilitate this change effort.
Write a 3- to 5-page paper (page count does not include title and reference page) that addresses the following:
Identify a problem, inefficiency, or issue within a specific department/unit.
Describe a specific, realistic change that could be made to address the issue.
Summarize how the change would align with the organizationâ€™s mission, vision, and values as well as relevant professional standards.
Identify a change model or strategy to guide your planning for implementing the change. Provide a rationale for your selection.
Outline the steps that you and/or others would follow to facilitate the change. Align these steps to your selected change model or strategy.
Explain who would be involved in initiating and managing this change. Describe the skills and characteristics that would be necessary to facilitate the change effort.
Most businesses are becoming conversant with the fact that, in the present business environment, organizational change is a rather important tool for obtaining competitive advantage. Organizational change is a broad concept which covers operational changes, culture changes, and also structural changes. The main objective of an organizational change is to address a given business inefficiency issue effectively. Unfortunately, not all employees of an organization understand the importance of change, which is why some individuals, if not all will develop resistance to change if necessary steps are not followed. This paper champions the thesis that the successful implementation of change within an organization can be achieved only when employees are educated and given time to adapt to it.
A Problem, Inefficiency, or Issue within the Nursing Reception
Presently, at the reception in my organization, nurses still use the old school method of record keeping and other operations. This involves the conventional paper-based approach whereby all important information is written down on a piece of paper which is stored in a specific file. Unfortunately, this paper-based healthcare approach has resulted in much inefficiency that has resulted into poor quality of services offered in the hospital. For example, there have been high rates of cases whereby patients have been given prescriptions belonging to another patient, an also some private information about patients have been leaked to family and friends. Therefore, this paper-based healthcare not only affects the organization, but also the patient. For this reason, it is necessary to develop an effective approach which nurses and healthcare professionals can make use of as a replacement of the old paper based system (Lele, 2005).
A Specific, Realistic Change That Could Be Made To Address the Issue
To effectively address the issue of inefficiency that results from the use of a paper-based system, a computer aided approach of conveying and storing health data on patients will be adapted. This is one of the most important applications which have the capacity of eliminating human errors which have been found to result from the use of pen and paper. The computer, therefore, is a tool which reduces the occurrence of these costly errors, enhances patient safety, and also improves the quality of procedures. An example of how the above can be ensured by a computer system is when patient data and background is stored in the computer only to be revealed when the doctor needs it (Lele, 2005).
How the Change Aligns with the Organization’s Mission, Vision, and Values As well As Relevant Professional Standards
This organization’s mission and vision strictly advocates for the provision of high quality healthcare to all its patients. The only way for this to be achieved is through the availability of effective practices in nursing such as making use of computer-aided healthcare applications. Therefore, this implementation of an electronic health records system aligns with the mission and vision of the organization since it takes care of the factors which were preventing the organization from providing an effective high quality service to each and every patient (Nasim & Sushil, 2011).
The value of the organization, on the other hand, emphasizes on two main elements. One, the nurses’ effectiveness and productivity; Two, the use of nursing practices to ensure the achievement of patient safety. The current old school approach which features storing notes on paper does not encourage a culture where the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of nurses are guaranteed. It also does not ensure patient safety. Therefore, introducing the use of electronic medical health records will help with the achievement of the stated value. Lastly, this change aligns with professional standards in that nurses will be able to provide services that are of high quality and very effective. They will also be error free.
Change Model to Guide Planning For Implementing the Change
This paper advocates for the use of Kurt Lewin’s three step change model, involving unfreeze, transition, and freeze, to help with the implementation of change (Burnes, 2004). A reason for settling for this model is that it is suitable for this situation since the nurses were already used to the paper-based method of keeping records. Hence, introducing them to an electronic system is most likely going to trigger resistance, which is why it is important for the process to be gradual (William, 2003).
Steps To Follow To Facilitate the Change
The first step of facilitating change should include critically analyzing the current business environment so as to identify good reasons for change implementation (Clardy, 2013). Second, the change process needs to be guided by a clear vision of what it needs to achieve. Lastly, the actual change implementation is the last step as it should only be done once all others have been successfully achieved. These steps align to the Kurt Lewin’s change model since they help in unfreezing the situation by stating reasons for introducing change (Burnes, 2004). They also help in the transition phase since there is a vision in place.
People Involved In Initiating and Managing This Change
The department/unit managers are the people who should be involved in this change process. They play an important role in ensuring that this process is successful since they consider the effective articulation of the vision for change, as well as the use of appropriate leadership skills to motivate the employees to embrace the change (Petch, 2009).
Organizational changes should not be imposed on employees, but rather a gradual approach, such as that explained by the Kurt Lewin’s model should be used. It helps an organization to improve on areas of weakness by encouraging employees to embrace change since they will understand its benefits.
Burnes, B. (2004). Kurt Lewin and the Planned Approach to Change: A Re-appraisal. Journal Of Management Studies, 41(6), 977-1002. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.2004.00463.x
Clardy, A. (2013). Improve the Process for Managing Change. Performance Improvement, 52(9), 33-44. doi:10.1002/pfi.21386
Lele, D. (2005). Computers In Medicine: Progress In Medical Informatics. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
Nasim, S., & Sushil. (2011). Revisiting Organizational Change: Exploring the Paradox of Managing Continuity and Change. Journal Of Change Management, 11(2), 185-206. doi:10.1080/14697017.2010.538854
Petch, A. ( 2009). Managing transitions: support for individuals at key points of change. New York: The Policy Press.
William, B. (2003). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. New York: Cambrige.