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Today, healthcare leaders and teams are facing unprecedented levels of change in every aspect of their lives.

During a recent practice transformation event involving ten advanced primary care practices throughout Colorado, one of the participant leaders shared a challenge they are facing in improving patient experience of care; the staff is feeling confused, overwhelmed and defeated. He listed all the changes his organization had implemented resulting in improvements but shared that the changes were not enough to avoid financial consequences. Further discussion resulted in an overwhelming majority of leaders identifying change fatigue as a barrier to their improvement work.

Learn four simple ways to clearly guide and support your team through change fatigue.

A = Align Your Efforts

As the group above, many primary care practices are involved in numerous pay for performance initiatives, all involving the measurement of Patient Experience of Care or Patient Satisfaction, but each using a different process to measure. The group shared their frustration around performance on similar measures, with widely varying results creating confusion and apathy amongst teams.  

Actions to align your efforts:

B = Base changes on your priorities

Effective leadership bases changes on priorities. Be sensitive to the amount and rate of changes that are occurring in your environment.  Although you may not always be able to control these variables, by consistently managing the change process you can provide structure and a sense of control.   

Actions to base your changes on priorities:

C = Communicate

Communication is fundamental to an effective and healthy team and can also be a change accelerant.   
Actions to improve communication:

D = Use data to support all change efforts

An additional challenge the group identified is delayed data. The measures used for practice transformation are often delayed, and some survey data is available only once a year. Teams get frustrated as it’s difficult to know if the changes are having the intended impact. 

Using timely, actionable data during the change process is critical. Care teams require a clear understanding of data used to determine the effectiveness of change. 

Actions to support using data in your change efforts:

These ABCDs are simple, but not always easy to implement. A Practice Facilitator can help you get started and support you with the implementation. The Colorado group of advanced primary care practices benefited from the support of the practice facilitator who structured, facilitated and managed the event. Practices had a dedicated time carved out for topic-based discussions with similar practices resulting in problem-solving, brainstorming of solutions, and reduced practice isolation. The practice facilitator shared a tool to align efforts, base changes on priorities, communicate complex information to the team in an efficient way, and clearly align timely data to support change efforts.  During the next event practices will share how they have used this new tool.

Building a facilitated learning network with like-minded practices is important. It’s a great way to learn from others who are doing similar work, and an opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned, tools and resources.

 

Resources:

HealthTeamWorks Performance Improvement Support
We begin performance improvement with the end in mind: identifying key performance priorities and objectives, then leveraging quality and process improvement principles in the implementation of known drivers of desired outputs. We have captured many of these known drivers in a living framework informed by experiences in the field, expertise, and the emerging evidence base. Our subject matter experts and solutions help to improve clinical quality outcomes, patient experience, and provider and staff vitality, while reducing the escalation in per capita cost of medical care.

For more information: https://www.healthteamworks.org/performance-improvement

 

HealthTeamWorks Solutions Center
HealthTeamWorks Solutions Center is a platform that convenes like-minded individuals for collaborative learning and innovation to advance healthcare transformation. As a member you will have access to guides, tools (such as the prioritization table and the Patient Experience of Care Alignment tool mentioned in the blog), templates, and videos to support your quality improvement and transformation projects.  
For more information and to join, please go to:
 
https://www.healthteamworks.org/solutionscenter


The 5 Main Causes of Burnout in Healthcare, Etactics, Maria Clark, November 7, 2019 https://etactics.com/blog/burnout-in-healthcare-causes

 

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