Readiness Assessment – 1.3 – Organizational Culture

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In this section you will learn the three components to your organizational culture:
1. Management Structure 2. Communication Processes and 3. Staff Attitudes and Beliefs

Category: Educational
Date: February 26, 2010
Views:9,253 views
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Eric Fishman, MD:
In this segment, we discuss how your organization’s culture plays a role in the readiness assessment process. There are four components to your organizational culture:

  1. Management Structure
  2. Communication Processes
  3. Staff Attitudes and Beliefs

Let’s look at the management structure.

Voiceover:The management structure defines the role of each employee within the practice. At this stage, you must determine who has what authorities, and assign additional responsibilities to specific employees. These new responsibilities will relate to your EHR project management.

Your EHR management structure might differ from your current management structure. To establish this new structure, answer questions such as: Who is your EHR project leader? How will the project leader research and present information gathered? Who will be responsible for educating and training staff?

Lindsay Pine: Let’s see what an expert has to say about why a designating a project leader is a critical step in defining your management structure.

Andrew Carricarte, President, CEO of IOS Health Systems: One of the most important issues that you’ll face during your EHR implementation is that you have many different interests- many different objectives within the practice. The office manager wants something, the physician wants something, the front desk wants something, the staff wants something. It’s important that you have one point of contact that can help control his request and coordinate with the physician, who the practice owner is and help navigate and combine all the requests toward the common vision. So it’s important to have that one person who owns that process and consolidate those requests to help you stay on track to achieve those objectives.

What we see for the smaller practices, the office manager typically takes on the role of the project manager. What’s important is that they depend on their software developer to guide them. They don’t know what ‘right’ looks like. This can be the first time they implement and EHR. So they have to depend on them for that information. The office manager will help guide the process to stay on track in accordance with the physicina’s goal. At the end of the day, the physician is the one with the final say, so you have to develop a process that helps coordinate the physician’s objectives with where the office manager is steering the project of implementation.

Voiceover: After you have identified each employee’s roles and responsibilities, it is now time to identify your communication processes.

A communication process will enable your practice to be informed about your EHR activities and provide a clear understanding of who is responsible for specific messages.

You can ask several key questions to establish your EHR communication process.
What communication medium will you use to communicate with your staff? How are problems or disputes resolved? What is your decision making process? Who has the final decision making authority?

Each person may have a different communication medium based on their responsibilities. Make sure to identify how each employee will communicate with the practice.

Communication Mediums include: Focus Groups; Staff Meetings; E-Mail; Reports; One-on-One Conversations

The communication process should be organized in a fashion that can easily be tracked. Maintain a list of all of the vital messages, including who is responsible for sending as well as receiving them. Include the communication medium as well as the date for each milestone to be completed.

How you communicate with your staff will greatly influence their attitudes about EHRs.

Administrating a staff survey can determine what their attitudes are in regards to EHR implementation.

The results of this survey will help identify chief concerns about your practice’s transition into an EHR. You must verify that your entire practice is in support of EHR, and is willing to spend time learning the new system.

This information will provide you with the confidence to select an EHR system that you AND your staff will be comfortable learning and working with.

Survey Questions can include….
1. In the past, how receptive is your staff to change?

2. What is each person’s level of support for EHR adoption?

3. How open is your clinical staff to learning a new workflow process?

All of these questions can have answers similar to a Likard Scale—ranging from 1 being not receptive to 5, being extremely receptive.

You’ve now completed Chapter 1.3 of your Readiness Assessment series; please continue to Chapter 1.4


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