Over on the Point of Care Corner blog is a really great post about the 7 tips to get nurses to adopt point of care technologies. The post is really great because it comes from a nurse named Brittney Wilson (better known as The Nerdy Nurse). I always love seeing first hand suggestions from nurses and doctors and this list does not disappoint.
Here are the 7 tips that Brittney provides:
- Demonstrate Value
- Provide Ample Training
- Show Compassion
- Put the Patient First
- Feed Them
- Designate Super Users
- Ask for Input
The thing that stands out most to me in this list is showing compassion because it plays a role in every other tip. It’s amazing how making someone feel like you care effects someone. Show them that you care what they think of the change. Help them understand that you care how they’re being effected by the change. Listen to what they have to say before you respond too quickly.
Listening is an incredibly valuable thing to do when implementing any change in health IT. This is particularly true with point of care technologies where the nurse will literally live with the technology her entire shift. By listening to the nurses, you show you care, but they will also surprise you with valuable information you probably wouldn’t otherwise learn.
My favorite item on the list might be “Feed Them.” Even this suggestion is a form of showing compassion. Never underestimate the power of food (this applies to your IT support staff as well). I’ve always considered free food like a small raise. Not only did I not have to buy lunch, but I didn’t have to think about what I wanted for lunch either. Plus, the food becomes a social rallying point where everyone can discuss the challenges of the implementation and solutions they’ve found. In a bad implementation, sometimes just realizing you get some nice free food can make a terrible day not so bad.
Resistance to change is a real and powerful force in healthcare. I think these two cartoons sum up the challenge of change:
This second one may take a minute to process.
The quality of the idea matters, but how you present and implement the change matters much more. Otherwise people will keep pulling the wagon with square wheels despite having a better solution at their fingertips. The best leaders realize this and make sure to incorporate compassion into the change process.
Are there other lessons you’ve learned implementing point of care technologies in your organization? Where have you found resistance to change in your health IT projects? What tricks and tips do you have to help those working through the challenge of changing something?