Organisational changes in healthcare, part 3: Supporting change

Organisational changes in healthcare, part 3: Supporting change

More consistent practices mean more impactful activities. But what does it require? How to promote the use of the new solution in the organisation? Many of our customers’ presentations at Medanets User Days in April touched on this topic.

Focusing on quality

In healthcare organisations, ensuring that the quality of treatment remains high regardless of the place of care or the healthcare provider serves as the starting point for making practices more consistent. The goal is not to micromanage how healthcare professionals care for their patients but to ensure high-quality and equal care for all patients.

The practices to be implemented are based on high-quality and well-founded information. They help the organisation operate efficiently and support the well-being of the staff, customers and patients.

Case: According to the new guidelines of the Central Finland Health Care District, a medication administration entry should be made whenever a medication is administered. At first, nurses may see this as extra work that was not required before. However, the benefits include safer pharmacotherapy, more detailed assessment of the patient’s medication and improved legal protection for the staff as the patient’s pharmacotherapy can be verified in real time.

Adjusting to the operating environment and understanding the benefits in practice

Even the best solution in the world will not be implemented if its fundamental benefits are not fully understood or there are obstacles to its use. Ensuring the comprehensive use of a new solution nearly always requires various measures.

Organisations should prepare a strategy and a ward-specific schedule for the deployment of each new solution and policy. Even within a single hospital, the workflows of different wards may vary and require a different approach to the deployment of a new solution. Asking and answering questions can prove helpful in preparing plans. For example: “What are the factors promoting and hindering the use of the solution in different wards?”

Case: The Nordland hospital group had acquired a new mobile solution and invited all wards to an information session. At this meeting, the wards were introduced to the new solution and told that they could now request the solution for their use. However, no requests came in. The wards didn’t see how the solution could support their own workflows. Next, the people in charge of the project took a different approach. They visited each ward separately and explained with real-life examples how the new solution would make their job easier. This approach was much more successful.

Training, training, training

Training is usually the most visible part of the project to the solution’s end users. Even if they have been informed of the new solution in advance, the message may have been buried in all the hustle and bustle of their working life. That is why it is extremely important to invest in high-quality training that includes personal instruction, clear materials that can be consulted later and the contact information of the person in charge of the solution. As shown in our previous example, we recommend explaining the new solution to the end users in the right context: how this solution will make your personal everyday work easier. In other words, we do not recommend simply throwing the solution at the users and leaving them to figure it out themselves.

It is easier to reach the goals of the project if a “change agent” or a person in charge of the solution is assigned to each ward. They receive more extensive training on the use of the solution, enabling them to help others if any problems occur.

According to the experiences of our customers, the end users are more likely to provide feedback, ask for advice and report issues if they can contact a designated coworker whom they already know. Even if the support offered by Medanets is top notch, people tend to find it too much work to contact a person outside their organisation. A contact person who has been in touch with Medanets may find it easier to forward the issue to Medanets, if necessary.

Case: Medanets theme week

In the spring of 2021, Kymsote (joint municipal authority for Kymenlaakso social and health services) implemented structural reform that included the harmonisation of documenting models and policies. The project included an organisation-wide Medanets theme week with a competition on the use of Medanets. As a result, the number of documentations made in the app increased by 28%, while the utilisation rate increased by 48% during the competition week. When examining the change months after the contest, the figures were +27% and +32%.

Tips from the Kymsote project team for success:

  • Creating a positive atmosphere
  • Open mutual communication across the entire organisation
  • Advocating for the new procedure and discussing its benefits
  • Encouraging and supporting users
  • Giving the chance to provide feedback and report problems
  • Having a project team with a background in nursing


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