by Kristen A. Stine, MSOD, Learning and Diffusion Manager

According to Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

The healthcare industry has been proving this hypothesis over the past few years, and it appears there are more changes to come. Change is hard, let’s be honest. Or more accurately, change is “complex,” especially transformational change. As we move toward value-based payment models, transformational change requires intentional systemic changes to move the organization to a culture of continuous quality improvement.

As you begin planning your approach to transformational change, take time to diagnose the type of work required to make that change sustainable. Your existing quality and utilization data will tell you where you need to focus but accurate diagnosis of the work, technical or adaptive, will tell you what tools are needed to effectively facilitate change.

Technical work is often easily addressed because it requires existing knowledge or expertise.

Adaptive work requires learning, takes time and is about values and beliefs.

Technical work lives in your head and adaptive work lives in your heart.

In healthcare, we often gravitate toward a technical approach because that is what we’re trained to do. And it works most of the time, diagnose and treat the illness and you fix the problem. Adaptive work, on the other hand, often requires learning to correctly identify both the problem and the solution. (See Image Below: O’Malley, Ed; Cebula, Amanda, “Your Leadership Edge” KLC Press, Wichita, KS, 2015.)

Learning takes time and curiosity, so instead of expecting immediate outcomes: measure progress.

Implementing sustainable change requires a team of individuals who are adept at both technical and adaptive work. This is why we often recommend building a team of individuals that is representative of the different departments and roles affected by the change, including the patient. If you are a small or solo practice, this is very difficult if not impossible.

So how do you build a team of collaborators with a very small team or no team at your facility?

HealthTeamWorks® has been working with physicians, groups and networks for more than 20 years – and during that time, we have built a body of best practices that have been used and refined over and over again. Our history is deeply rooted in collaborative work and we have built a network of collaborators across the country to help us continue to learn and grow. But we recognize, we need to help you build your network. To that end, we have developed the HealthTeamWorks® Solutions Center, a learning community for sharing and creating healthcare transformation solutions. The Solutions Center is your community. You are the leaders, the teachers, the learners, and the contributors.

There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of people telling you what you should do, we want to cut through the noise:

Expand your transformation and learning team to include the community of HealthTeamWorks® Solutions Center, Your Go To for How To.