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The integration and incorporation of new technologies with the aim of improving health care delivery and alleviating patient discomfort through reduced waiting times in admissions are inherent motivators for organizational change. However, change is often resisted for a variety of reasons both individual and organizational. Communication and inclusion is essential in ensuring that change is comprehensive and does not alienate one or more aspects of the organization. In light of this, the optimal change model that addresses the change process through the determination of the essential actions before, during and after the change is implemented. This includes optimal allocation of available internal and external resources for the facilitation of an effective implementation of change.
Monitoring of the implementation of change ensures that it is implemented in an inclusive, efficient and effective manner. Therefore, systematic monitoring and evaluation procedures are crucial for the identification and correction of potential problems. Significantly, organizational relationships are examined to ascertain harmony between organizational systems and processes including personal and professional roles in the implementation of change. The implementation of change requires a comprehensive communication system for the change to be effective. This facilitates the capture and transmission of data and information to the relevant departments or units on demand and in real time.
Once change has been implemented successfully, the post implementation effectiveness of the change should be determined. This is accomplished through a comprehensive understanding and identification of the outcome measurement strategies. Significantly, those outcome strategies linked to costs, quality and patient satisfaction will ensure that management understands the extent of the progress made through change implementation.
Determining Effectiveness of Change after Implementation
The effectiveness of the new automated patient check-in system must be measured and quantified after the successful implementation of change. Prior goals and organizational objectives that were pre-determined before the implementation of change are measured and assessed after change implementation. The assessment aims at establishing whether the expected outcomes have been realized (Newton, 2010). Consequently, it is essential that the management make references to paper based systems baseline information and data with respect to the automated patient check-in system. A reference to these data acts as a standard measurement for assessing the automated check-in system. Therefore, management must determine efficiency and quality comparability of the new automated system to the old paper based system and the scope of comparability. This enables the management to determine whether the new system has been effective when compared to the old paper based system.
The evaluation of the new automated check-in system will identify how many patients are checked in at a defined period. It will also evaluate the pace at which information is disbursed to the relevant care and medical units within the hospital. There is a problem in the case than there is not significant change in the number of patients admitted in a defined period after the implementation of the new system. Therefore, if the new automated patient check-in system does not result in reduced waiting times and expedited patient admissions, it will indicate that the new system is not realizing the minimum set outcomes and goals (Gilley, Gilley, & McMillan, 2009). This is an indicator that the implemented organizational change is not effective.
While the assessment of more objective aspects of change implementation process is more effective, collecting feedback from individual users of the new system including nurses, patients and physicians is an optimal approach to assessing the effectiveness of an organizational change. Since the primary goal is to fulfill the needs of patients seeking services in the hospital, these individuals are the most opportune evaluators in the determination of the effectiveness of change.
Outcome Measurement Strategies Related To Change
It is essential that the assessment of the organizations goals to be conducted with regard to change implementation in order to ascertain their measurability. As such, the primary organizational objectives must be prioritized while measuring the most vital to the planned outcome of the change process. The measurement of outcomes of the change process may require the use of outsourced professionals. These may have the knowledge and skills pertaining to the various models, standards and tools that are essential to the process that the hospitals staff may not possess (Gilley, Gilley, & McMillan, 2009).
One of the strategies that are instrumental in measuring outcomes is issue log monitoring. Challenges and issues arising in the use of the new system must be documented in the respective log for assessment. Often the severity and frequency of an issue illustrates an emerging problem in change implementation process. As such, management must constantly make a comparison of the issue log with identified risk factors linked to the change process. This will direct further monitoring of the identified concerns and initiate appropriate corrective measures.
Periodical evaluation of baseline data is instrumental in the assessment of organizational progress after the implementation of change (Newton, 2010). Data monitoring enables management to make appropriate assessments pertaining significant activities, the speed of progress and optimal resource utilization. Additionally, consultation of the prescribed industry standards and tools is vital in the identification of critical indicators and measures.
Measuring Quality, Cost and Satisfaction Outcomes
The measurement of costs, quality and satisfaction outcomes, are significant factors in the evaluation of the change implementation process and assessing the extent in which set goals have been achieved. Through the measurement of defined data and factors pertaining to the patients demographics, well-being status prior and after admission, accessibility, courtesy towards patients, the hospitals physical attributes and comprehensive patient satisfaction, the management is in a position to provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine the extent in which services meet defined standards (Schiffauerova & Thomson, 2006).
The measurement of costs pertaining to change implementation of an automated patient check-in system will entail monetary savings resulting from the implementation of the automated patient check-in system. Therefore, a cost quality measurement will entail assessment of losses incurred from the change process (Gordon & Gilley, 2012). Significantly, management can determine the number of patients admitted in defined time frames, therefore, computing the incremental savings in revenues and stationery used in the previous paper based system. However, these aspects are not conclusive predictors of the change since implementation costs may be high and losses may be incurred due to a variety of factors (Gordon & Gilley, 2012). Nevertheless, they provide insight regarding the organizations financial stability.
The costs that must be considered include the cost of the new system, equipment, networking, staff training, and maintenance of the system. The costs of implementing the new system will be measured against the increased revenue; that results from an increased number of patients being attended, reduced waiting time and eliminated use of paper based system. Meanwhile, satisfaction outcomes are measured through addressing patient and employee satisfaction. Patient satisfaction is measured through the evaluation of factors, such as quality of care, access to services and physical settings of the hospital (Schiffauerova & Thomson, 2006). This can be determined through the use of questionnaires to patients, suggestion boxes, patient hotlines, informal visits of patients by management and clinical staffs.
Challenges in the change implementation process may have various impacts on the process; as such, the management has a duty to assess the effectiveness of the new automated patient check-in system. The realization of set goals and objectives is a positive determinant of the effectiveness of change. The reduction of waiting time and increased care efficiency assures the management that the system is functioning according to the plan. Significantly, evaluation of patient feedback offers an insight into the effectiveness of the automated patient check-in system. Outcome measurement should be tailored to provide quality and comprehensive information assessment processes. Therefore, the evaluation of change outcomes must entail quality assessment through ascertaining that the organization provides defined and qualitative services as planned.