Dealing with change in the workplace
In almost all organizations, dealing with change is a major process that companies encounter various difficulties. Some people might be willing to support the change while others might be reluctant, as they believe that it would affect their standing in an organization negatively. Within the health care sector, for instance, change management serves as one of the major areas of concern. Medical experts are expected to attain and sustain the expertise required to allow them to handle their professional duties with competence (Austin, et al., 2016). Also, change takes place in an unending manner around us. People might wish to support it, take part in it, be passive toward it, or be indifferent. Additionally, the process of managing change revolves around dealing with the prevailing complexities. It targets planning, evaluating, and implementing tactics, operations, and challenges, while ensuring that the change implemented is relevant and worthwhile (Kavaler & Alexander, 2012). The strategies that organizations employ to manage the change process are dynamic, complex, and challenging. They have to make a choice of combining both people and technological-oriented solutions to come up with functional changes that rhyme with the mission, vision, and values of an organization (Mahoney & Thelen, 2010).
Furthermore, effective change within organizations entails unfreezing earlier behaviors, developing new ones, as well as re-refreezing them. Change might be sporadic, continuous, rare, or occasional. Predictable change creates room for adequate preparations while it is challenging to respond to unpredictable change efficiently. Because changes that take place in the health care sector prevail rapidly, problems emerge when it comes to predicting them. Today, the only competitive advantage that organizations can cope with entails the capacity to adapt, change, and evolve, as well as perform better compared to the existing competition (O'Riordan & Elton, 2016). The rates of failure are linked to various forces including lack of commitment and vision from top management, poor implementation plans, and poor integration of systems with processes. When institutions encounter increased success rates in their efforts to develop, the executives and managers should establish an appropriate framework that would facilitate thinking concerning change. They should also foster understanding concerning the major issues that follow the change management process (Arbuckle, 2012). Hence, the paper discusses the major forces that are driving change in the health care sector, the potential change resistors, actions for reducing resistance, and the leadership styles ideal for the situation.
Forces Driving Change in Healthcare
Various forces drive change initiatives within the health care sector. For instance, innovation has played a vital role in driving health care's future, especially as the industry is witnessing the digital transformation. However, the health care sector is multifaceted. The costs are rising while complexities are also growing. Customers are showing increased levels of dissatisfaction than any other time in history. In the recent years, several technology establishments have emerged to offer solutions that are forcing health care institutions to become innovative. Here, one of the ways in which healthcare organizations are adopting the innovation is through targeting their expert employees (AFSCME, 2017). For example, the crowd-sourced technology is providing organizations with opportunities for engaging and sharing with their employees to come up with opportunities for growth, improve their operations, and introduce various products and services.
Many health care institutions are also finding their workers as having solutions to the future problems they might encounter. They are therefore adopting a culture of innovation to reduce operating costs and boost patient care, experience, and service tremendously. Others are introducing patents aimed at growing their revenue base. In realizing successful outcomes in the several change initiatives, health care organizations should lay emphasis on the fundamental forces that motivate innovation in healthcare services and products (Murillo, 2017). Here, the major area that is forcing institutions to embark on change initiative is the desire to satisfy their increasing client base. In the U.S., for instance, estimates reveal that over 81 percent consumers do not derive satisfaction from the health care services they receive (Herzlinger, 2006). The long wait times and higher costs of drug prescription serve as the major grievances that customers raise. As such, satisfying customers acts as a major area that is driving change in health care institutions.
Change management in healthcare
The cost-sharing issue also serves as a different area that is driving change in health care organizations. During the past five years, for example, the medical expenses from out of pocket have more than doubled for employees (Brook, 2017). The patient number that declines seeking medical care has risen to around 40 percent. Also, when cynical patients refrain from seeking medical services, both medical institutions, and their employees are affected as well (Herzlinger, 2006). Therefore, a need has arisen to introduce cost-sharing initiatives to increase the number of patients requiring medical services.
Moreover, the costs of prescribing drugs are rising significantly. Estimates carried out in 2013 reveal that the costs of specialty drugs might quadruple from the present $87 billion to more than $420 billion in 2020. The skyrocketing costs might result in a domino effect. In case patients cannot afford to buy the drugs, they will not purchase them meaning that the facilities will not store them (AFSCME, 2017). Overall, pharmaceutical firms would be forced to limit the funds they invest in researching and developing the new drugs. In this sense, health care institutions will need to devise ways of reducing the costs of drug prescriptions to allow customers afford them and keep the firms operating.
Managing change in healthcare
The health care sector is also growing in complexity creating a need for adopting a change to deal with the emerging cases of sophistication. For example, estimates reveal that around 43 million Americans have not paid their debts while over half of liability cases are associated with medical expenses. Among doctors, medical facilities, pharmaceutical firms, and insurers, billing in health care becomes significantly complicated. In most cases, patients do not comprehend whom they owe their funds. Thus, there is a need for embarking on a change to simplify the complexities of health care (Institute of Medicine, 2011).
Moreover, digital transformation and access are leading individuals to experience convenience. However, patient experience has rhymed with the expectations. In various cities across the U.S., the relative wait time to get an appointment is around 18.5 days. Here, it is apparent that it is essential to lay emphasis on incorporating digital revolution and access in health care settings to boost patient convenience levels (Banaszak-Holl, et al., 2010). Also, various health care reforms are creating a need for medical institutions to embark on change. For instance, the 2010 Affordable Care Act marked a point where the entire health care industry adopted various technologies. From then, different technology establishments have managed to gain over $7.5 billion regarding revenue (AFSCME, 2017). The new entrants are forcing many health care institutions to retool and rethink their business models to cope with the emerging changes in the health care environment.
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