Key activities in connection with the implementation
Which activities are crucial for a successful implementation? And how do we ensure that these activities are included in the implementation process? Read the third article out of eight - here about the key activities in connection with implementation.
Prior to the implementation of new technology, it is recommended that an interdisciplinary implementation team is formed. The task of the team is to prepare, follow and lead the implementation process in the organization. In this article, we take a closer look at key activities in connection with the implementation. The activities can be divided in relation to the preparatory activities that must take place in the interdisciplinary team and the activities that must take place in the staff group that will work with the technology on a daily basis.
In the project DISH (Digital & Innovation Skills Helix in Health), the interdisciplinary team is also referred to as a Learning Innovation Unit (LIU).
Analysis of the new technology
The interdisciplinary team must familiarize itself properly with the new technology; Has the product been sold along with support for the actual implementation? And what is included in the support? Does the product have a help-desk function? Can expected peak pressure periods on a support/help desk function be established? And will extra resources be needed for the peaks? Does the product come with any kind of guidelines? Can the company also offer staff training?
The interdisciplinary team must also ensure that the organization's IT infrastructure is prepared for the new technology, and if the technology is to be adapted to the organization, the interdisciplinary team must ensure that the adaptation has taken place before implementation begins.
Analysis of workflows
The interdisciplinary team should map the workflows that will be affected by the introduction of the new technology and describe what the workflows look like after the implementation. Likewise, they should go through all the instructions that are affected by the technology introduction, and consequently update the instructions to suit the new workflows you will get after the implementation is completed.
Change management and matching of expectations
It is absolutely crucial for a successful implementation that the management takes responsibility for the introduction of the new technology, and the interdisciplinary team must ensure that the implementation process is a priority for the management and that there is both administrative and political support. Is introduction of the new technology aligned with the overall strategy for the organization? And does the implementation fit into annual cycle of the organization? It is important that management understand in which direction the organization is heading with the new technology, and is leading in the direction. The Management will often have to accept a temporary drop in productivity and must therefore have allocated the necessary budget / resources to complete the implementation including the temporary negative effects.
The interdisciplinary group ensures that a detailed implementation plan is prepared for the change project, which contains a description, timeline, roles and responsibilities for all sub-activities, incl. training of staff. The implementation plan should also include 1-2 tests before rolling out to full implementation. Likewise, should the implementation plan include monitoring 1-2 months after the technology is fully implemented in operation to check if everything has gone as expected. If not – where is the difference? And how should it be handled?
Michael Rønde, director of Working Virtual, a consulting company specializing in virtual collaboration, says that the health professionals who will work with the new technology must be made aware that a change will take place and that this change is important and relevant to the organization. What is the new technology about? What is going to happen? And what will our organization and our work processes look like after the implementation? Change communication is important - and Story Telling can also be used as a tool to convey information about the advantages and disadvantages of the new technology.
On-boarding the team that will use the technology in their daily work
It is fundamental that you understand and take as a starting point the values and culture that already exist in the team. Throughout the implementation, you should also ensure that you have "on-boarded" the pragmatists in the team. It is important that they consider the implementation of the new technology as good and advantageous. The focus should thus neither be on the enthusiasts nor on the conformists. There may be resistance to change in an employee group. It is important to identify the opponents and make them understand the opportunities created by the new technology. Sundhedsekspressen, whom has many years of experience in facilitating technology implementation processes in municipalities and hospitals, recommends using the motivational interview method.
How to create a sustainable culture for peer learning?
- Development of competences must be seen as part of the benefits when introducing a new technology, says Flemming Nielsen from Guide2Know, a company that designs and delivers digital learning solutions. Which kind of training should take place before and during implementation? - The IT skills of healthcare professionals vary widely, and it is important that everyone, including the management level, is trained.
One must also define a peer-to-peer training or superuser system that ensures that all new staff are introduced to the technology - even after the implementation process is complete. The peer-to-peer training must be robust and able to withstand frequent staff changes on all shifts. Whether you choose to establish super users and ambassadors depends on the training strategy - however, the long-term sustainability should always be the main focus. It can also be considered whether the team can learn from other teams that have already implemented the same technology successfully. It could be physical or virtual visits, and it could also be that superusers or ambassadors are being sent on visits as representatives of the team.
As an important part of the learning culture, space must also be created for the team to explore the new technology. How do all the features work? - and do they create opportunities to use the technology in new contexts that are not already foreseen?
How to get "support"?
Once the technology has been implemented, you, as a health professional must know where you can get help when the technology is a hassle, so that you can feel completely confident of being able to act professionally with the patients.
Other activities and initiatives related to technology implementation
- The PPI-Guide ( Opi-guiden) consists of tools and cases: from ideation over innovation-process to implementation of health and welfare technology.
- The network for implementation of video consultations focuses on the specific challenges associated with implementing and harvesting the benefits when implementing video consultations.
- The international project DISH focuses on the lack of competencies of healthcare professionals in relation to the use of the many digital solutions that are continuously introduced in the healthcare system.
In a series of eight articles, Welfare Tech focuses on the essential parameters for a successful implementation. Link to the other articles: