Planned Change in a Hospital Department

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PLANNED CHANGE IN A HOSPITAL DEPARTMENT 1

PlannedChange in a Hospital Department

PlannedChange in a Department

Manygovernment and private institutions continuously change aspects oftheir operations as need arises. The concepts used to implement theproposed changes depend on the nature of the organizations.Therefore, the level of success experienced in implementing thechosen change model depends on the nature of the organization`sactivities. Change can be applied to all kinds of institutions andbusiness enterprises. A successful change relies on the support andunderstanding of the change process that is used. An organizationthat handles modifications of their basic functions well will get areward while an institution that does not give a lot of importance tochange may not survive in the competitive world. This research paperwill focus on Kurt Lewina’s three-step change model to implementchanges to a hospital department. The paper will also compare thethree step model with the other classical models and outline thecharacteristics and skills required for the change to be realized.

Overthe years, health institutions have been on the receiving end oftechnological advancement. What we have come to know as traditionalmedical care where we solely relied on a doctor`s hands on skill hassignificantly reduced. Equipment such as stethoscopes and x-rays havechanged the way diseases get diagnosed and treated. The currentdoctor is well informed, connected and has vast resources at hisdisposal. This has seen a downward trend in the number of casualties.But there is one problem that has not been addressed adequatelydespite the advancement in technology, health and customer servicedelivery[ CITATION Kin13 l 1033 ].

Recordkeeping and retrieval have seen a lot of upgrades. Nowadays, apatient’s diagnosis and treatment history are stored on a serverwhere it can be retrieved in a moment’s notice. But there is nosynchronization of hospital databases, where a patient’s history ofthe hospitals he has gone for treatment can be found. The data keptis usually insufficient to give the doctor a clear picture of thepatient’s medical record. A physician’s first action beforeattending to a patient is to know his or her medical history, whichwill give him a clue of what may be ailing the patient at thatmoment. People have an adverse reaction to particular types ofmedicines, and sufficient knowledge of the same prevents accidentalpoisoning. The most common method used by doctors to get a patient`sinformation is by asking them questions. This is effective when thepatient is aware of his health status, if not, then the doctor has torun some test which requires time. A dying patient does not haveenough time for information retrieval[CITATION Dav10 l 1033 ].

Thereare various reasons why patient’s records can sometimes be hard toretrieve. Some hospitals are located in remote regions where wirelessnetwork reception is minimal or does not exist in some places. Theonly record that can be found in that hospital is of the people whohave gone to it for medical attention. If someone becomes ill whiletraveling and goes to the nearest hospital, the health facility willrely on the patient’s knowledge of his status of health. This issuebecomes critical if the patient is very ill or has suffered anaccident and he cannot talk. The doctor has to conduct tests todetermine the patient’s medical history while treating him this isa waste of time, which should be applied to save other patients inthe health facility. Also, the patient’s history regarding hisallergies and incompatibilities with certain medicines will benonexistent. The doctor has to take a risk when treating that type ofpatient, therefore, reducing the chances of saving the life of thatpatient.

Ihave proposed some solutions which target the personnel involved inentering patients’ information to the database and the custodiansof the data. A central server should be used to store the data whichcan be retrieved by any medical official irrespective of thegeographical location of the hospital. This requires a powerfulsupercomputer that can handle billions of records. Governments shouldcome together to fund such initiative. People travel all over theworld, and they can get sick or be in an accident anywhere in theworld. A doctor who can easily diagnose you and get in contact withyour previous doctor has a higher chance of treating you. The secondsolution is to convince the personnel to adapt to new changes inrecord keeping which will potentially increase their work.Restructuring the database so that it can carry more details of thepatient like the phone number of the doctors who have treated him andthe respective hospitals. The three step model plays a significantrole in changing the personnel’s attitudes to the proposed changes.The increased workload will make the health workers resent thechanges and even sabotage them. Therefore, adequate awareness andcommunication to the record keeping department of the benefits of theproposed changes are significant[ CITATION Mar12 l 1033 ].

Themodel is appropriate because the employees can easily understand itsconcepts and its three steps are simple. The framework for managingchange involves three processes which are Unfreeze, Change andRefreeze. The first stage is the most significant since it meanschanging people’s attitudes and behaviors that are not in line withthe proposed change. Traditionally, people are reluctant to change,especially the older generation. Most institutions including a healthfacility have older people on the management boards. It requires alot of awareness and sufficient communication to both theadministration and staff so as to change their beliefs and fears. Theeventual goal is to convince everyone to embrace change[ CITATION Sno11 l 1033 ].

Thesecond stage is the change process. New values, behaviors, andattitudes have to replace the older ones. Therefore, people areencouraged to change their regular working criteria and embrace newmethods of doing their activities. The total change experienced in aninstitution is made up of the individual changes from all therelevant people. At this stage, the problem is identified, and plansare made to make changes to the institution by developing an actionplan. The last stage is concerned with making the changes permanent.After a while, benefits of the changes are realized, and the staff isencouraged to accept more modifications in future.

Cognitivetheory suggests that personal and environmental factors have animpact to change of behavior. On the other hand, Lewin’s theorydoes regard the personal factor which may have an impact to change.The phases of change in Lippitt’s theory of organizational changeare just an extension of Kurt Lewin’s three step model. Prochaskaand DiClemente’s change model is different from the other twobecause of it cyclical, and therefore, it may not be appropriate toimplement it in a hospital environment. From the comparisonsmentioned above, it is advisable to use the Kurt’s model becausethe doctors and nurses in a health institution are very busy. Theactivities in the hospital are personalized and therefore to applythe change, the staff attitudes need to change. It`s hard to changehow one carries his tasks, especially if the job description dependson one`s person’s skills. Doctors and nurses have their procedureand practices of treating patients, which can be hard to change ifthey have been doing his tasks at the hospital for a very long time[ CITATION Sut13 l 1033 ].

Themission of any hospital is saving lives, and the core values are toprovide medical care to the best of their ability. All workers in themedical field have passion with their work because they are in thebusiness of preserving life. Their attitudes to the change canimprove if they are aware of the long time benefits of implementingthe changes proposed by the record keeping department. Results of thesuccessful application of the proposed changes above are improvedmedical care to the patients. The death of patients while inhospitals will decrease and thus the hospital’s mission of savinglives will be enhanced.

Inconclusion, although Lewin’s model is a great tool to effectchanges to a medical facility, it does not give attention to thefeelings of the personnel working in the medical facility. This willeventually result in unforeseen consequences. An organization thatdoes not embrace change may become irrelevant as the world is inconstant motion and it is imperative for the institutions andbusinesses to change their operational activities as need arises.

References

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Snowdon, A. (2012). Strengthening Health Systems Through Innovation Lessons Learned. Ivey centre for health innovation. Ontario: University of Western Ontario.

Sutherland, K. (2013). Applying Lewin’s Change Management Theory to the Implementation of BarCoded Medication Administration. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 23 -30.