Moving to G Suite: Successful Change Management for Healthcare Clinicians

G Suite is replacing Microsoft and other Office suite products at many healthcare institutions. Making the change requires detailed planning across technology systems, but it also requires changing how humans interact with the technology. That’s easier said than done, as there’s more than just classroom training involved because clinicians are rarely sitting at a desk and working on the computer all day.

They are seeing patients in the clinic, hospital or procedure room, meeting in hallways, patient rooms and conference rooms with other clinicians, and charting in the nurses’ station, following up on studies and referrals. They are in the laboratory or reading room examining specimens and imaging studies or traveling for conferences. It’s difficult to take time from this busy and peripatetic schedule to learn a new technology. There’s not enough time in the day to get everything done as is.

Making a sweeping move to G Suite, therefore, involves a lot of moving parts outside of the actual technology transition. Clinicians are only one group of stakeholders needing individualized change management in a healthcare transition to G Suite, and their needs are different than other stakeholder groups. 

Internal stakeholders need to have their voices heard before the change is made so that any concerns can be addressed and incorporated into deployment design. Each stakeholder using a new software system has unique needs, whether that’s using only G Suite or incorporating additional software. Engagement, training, communication and support needs are unique, not one-size-fits-all. 

With that in mind, what does organizational change management mean for healthcare clinicians? How should project management teams work with this group to promote a successful transition? Here is Maven Wave’s approach.

Maven Wave’s Change Management Process

With any technology transition, Maven Wave’s change management experts meet with stakeholders at a client site ahead of time, to conduct organizational assessments. Those assessments include interviews, focus groups, surveys and current system data analysis. 

With each job role and business unit, we find out how associates do their jobs, and how they use their current software and any software integrations. We measure sentiment amongst stakeholders with regard to changing software programs. That includes functionality they don’t want to lose or functionality they’d like to add. We discuss what types of engagement, communications, training and support would work best for them.

These discussions inform the change management plan, by role and geography, and help the deployment team reduce business disruption during the technology change.

Change Management for Physicians and Nurses

While each healthcare system has its own needs, here’s an example of how we’ve understood the needs of these stakeholders for one healthcare organization client, and two important groups of stakeholders: physicians and nurses. 

During our organizational assessments (interviews, focus groups, surveys and current system data analysis), the following list of important clinician needs and concerns were revealed by physicians and nurses:

  • The ability to archive all records and emails, for patient care as well as legal purposes.
  • The need for seamless private website integrations. That includes, for example, links for lab results and patient scheduling.
  • The need for calendar delegation capabilities, important to doctors and other staff members assisting with their scheduling.
  • The need for shared calendars. Nurses in this organization use shared calendars to track who is working on various floors and departments. 
  • The need for customized templates, macros, complex logs and registry information for tracking diseases and incidents (e.g. stroke log).
  • The need for a HIPAA-compliant system, and a clear understanding of how to keep protected health information (PHI) secure.
  • The need for mobile access.
  • The need to better understand G Suite’s capabilities and robustness.

Communication Training Needs

While the technology implementation is in process, the change management team addresses the stakeholder concerns with technology and site management teams. As part of that process, we create training plans. Nurses and physicians not stationed at a desk (e.g. those moving frequently between patient rooms) need different training than those whose workspace is more office-oriented. Those whose jobs are more mobile need to remain connected to the necessary technology for training purposes and also for going forward. 

Different training is needed for physicians who are accustomed to receiving information by paper, versus those who learn better from live presentations. Some clinicians prefer shorter microtraining sessions. Others find that index size reference cards can be useful to carry in a badge holder.

Guides or “gurus” can be useful in training as well. This means training some key staff members early, and designating them as “go to” clinicians for questions and help. These guides act as cheerleaders for the transition, and are point people for the clinical team. They’re seen as people who already understand the inner workings of the healthcare internal IT system, and therefore act as a bridge to the new system in a trustworthy, relatable way. Of course Maven Wave is integral to the training as well, but some stakeholders may prefer to seek assistance from someone in-house.

Maven Wave finds success holding training sessions at various times. That might include the morning huddle, lunch and learns, hands-on training in various clinic or hospital suites, and/or via recorded training sessions to access on demand. Times, of course, should be convenient for staff and offered in various learning styles – hands-on and lecture. Training should include specifics like how to manage the influx of emails, email “rules” and labeling, and discussions about how to maintain PHI and follow HIPAA laws.

Success in Change Management

Switching to a new software system isn’t easy, especially for stakeholders with many legitimate concerns. However, the transition will be more successful with a thoughtful change management program in place. This program includes listening to the stakeholders and addressing their concerns in the technology and in the roll out.

Offering options for stakeholder training increases the organization’s ability to gain acceptance, confidence and competence in the new system. When stakeholders are using the new technology and excited by it, they are more likely to share that enthusiasm with others, and use it fully. Providing multiple ways to train and learn shows the clinicians that the healthcare organization wants them to succeed, and that they place a high priority on supporting the technology adoption process. Learning techniques can include hands-on opportunities, allowing clinicians to get comfortable with the technology in their own environment. 

With great success at many organizations, including in the healthcare field, Maven Wave has the expertise to lead organizations through successful G Suite implementations. Our change management team is ready to address your unique needs. Contact us to talk through the process and answer any questions.

January 16th, 2020

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