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How to Handle Employees When Improving Outcomes Requires New and Changing Duties for Staff

Healthcare organizations are perpetually seeking out best practices for every aspect of clinical care and for management issues. Harvesting those best practices is a relatively simple process, but operationalizing those practices typically proves more elusive. While addressing new recommendations for the prevention of pressure ulcers, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) identified some steps that can help organizations adapt to new and changing processes and build competency in those processes.

Managing Change Requires a Strategic Focus

AHRQ recommends developing strategies that will address how to manage change at the front line. Start by ensuring that staff understand their new roles and have the necessary tools and equipment to implement the change. Be sure that the educational efforts are clear on the reasons for the change to reduce staff resistance. Help employees connect the dots between the new and changing duties and the benefits for patients.

AHRQ also recommends regular assessments to help the organization understand the issues associated with the new or changing practice and develop strategies that will better support competency.

Structuring an Implementation Team

When it is time to get started, be sure that your implementation team includes unit-level champions. They will have the most informed feedback for the implementation team and can serve as subject matter experts for front line staff. Also, do not overlook physicians. Hospitalists in particular may play a key role in the success of the implementation of new and changing processes and will bring a perspective to the implementation that may be difficult to get from any other source.

Focus on Results

Maintain your focus. Leadership support and an ongoing focus on results are important to long-term success. Standing agenda items should be used to ensure that performance on new initiatives remains on the leadership team’s radar screen. Focused leaders can also be ready to authorize resources for and remove barriers to competency.

This blog post is the fifth in a series of excerpts from the HealthStream article, Maintaining Competency: Turning Concepts into Practice. Healthcare providers use the HealthStream Competency Center to Measure & Validate Competency. Doing so includes the ability to measure and benchmark behaviors or levels of competence in positions across the healthcare field through peer, preceptor, or manager appraisal, including methods of validation and evidence of achievement. Explore HealthStream clinical development solutions that ensure competency.


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