Change ManagementIs there any other industry experiencing more change than healthcare? Changes include regulatory mandates (e.g., HIPPA, EHR, etc.), Affordable Care Act (ACA), and fundamental change in the way providers are compensated for the care provided (i.e. fee for service vs. value-based contracting model). As you guide your organization through these changes, you will most likely use one or more change models to address the following:
- Assess the need for change—that is confirm the current state of operations, identify the required future state of operations, and map out a path between the two.
- Ensure all stakeholders are aware of the need for change.
- Help stakeholders buy-in to the changes.
- Identify additional knowledge or skills needed by stakeholders to undertake new processes or procedures.
- Implement reinforcement activities to improve sustainability of changes.
- Determine metrics for ongoing evaluation.
Branding ActivitiesObviously, branding is not a one-time activity, but a series of actions to help ensure both internal and external stakeholders have consistent thoughts, feelings, opinions, and behaviors regarding your brand. Stakeholders interact with your brand every minute of every day. Even without change initiatives, you must manage communications and interactions with patients, providers, regulatory agencies, employees, and others on an ongoing basis. In addition to this, you must also manage and influence perceptions of your organization’s physical and digital facilities, ensuring stakeholders can access and interact with the organization in a positive manner. You most likely have evaluation systems in place to measure, track, and act upon the thousands of stakeholder interactions with your brand. Then, factor in the increased complexity as you undertake significant process and procedure changes. Patients, providers, employees, and others may feel dissonance between what they felt your brand represented and new realities during a transition or after process changes are finalized. The task then becomes communicating what is happening, what the short-term and long-term effects will be, and assuring stakeholders you have an overall plan, are carefully managing new activities, and controlling for unanticipated issues. The alignment inquiry regarding branding activities and change management plans is an opportunity to ask questions about the brand and how it may be enhanced to better communicate the new state of operations, processes, and/or procedures after implementation of a major change initiative. Questions may include:
- Does your brand speak to improved security of patient data, better collaboration of care between providers, or other actions you are taking to improve the value of care from the patient’s point of view?
- Do providers and employees see continuity between the brand and the changes implemented?
- Does your brand attract new provider-contractors?
- Does your brand attract, unite, and engage employees?