Change Management and the Healthcare Debate

October 14, 2012

Electronic Medical Records

Where is Organizational Change Management when you need it?  Check out this article in the NY Times Science section on October 12, 2012.  Here’s a taste:

“Some doctors complain that the electronic systems are clunky and time-consuming, designed more for bureaucrats than physicians.”

Like many of the systems and processes that we work on/with, the adoption of electronic medical records in healthcare will bring revolutionary changes.  Eventually they will be for the better.  It seems that the road is a little bumpy as of this writing.   Let me see… Complex systems, tight budgets, big egos, entrenched cultures.  What a surprise.  Read more at the link below.

The Ups and Downs of Electronic Medical Records

August 19, 2009

There are great lessons for every leader in the ongoing healthcare debate regarding the handling of strategic change initiatives that your political slant has no bearing on.    Leaders, whether Obama or you, must keep in mind that humans are genetically “hardwired” for certain behavior.  Three such hardwired behaviors are on vivid display in the healthcare hysterics:

1.  Humans are hardwired to be “Loss Averse.”  This has been demonstrated in countless university psych classes.   True to form, we see people far more concerned about what they might lose, rather than what they might gain as an individual, family, community or society.    Leaders must remember that employees will not ask, “what’s in it for me?” they will instinctively ask, “what might I lose?”  and they must be prepared to address this concern

2. Humans are hardwired to trust “Emotional instincts before reason.”  How else can you explain the currency that the patently absurd “death panel” story gained?  Leaders must plan to plant a positive emotional connection to any change initiative.  If inaction/lack of communication allows fear to take hold, there will be an uphill battle to gain the hearts/minds.

3. Humans are hardwired to seek and share information in order to build alliances (a.k.a. Gossip).   No matter how hard anyone tries, they cannot shut down the “rumor mill.”   What stories will be told at the water cooler or over lunch?   Will they be the stories you want to be told?

For more details on hardwired behavior, read, “How Hardwired is Human Behavior?” by Nigel Nicholson in July 1998 Harvard Business Review.

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