Assignment: Facilitation and Support
Many change theories have been developed. No matter which change theory is adopted by the informatics specialist, however, communication, planning, and support are key factors in any change management strategy. Informaticists should become knowledgeable about at least one change theory and use this knowledge as the basis for change management planning as part of every effort. John Kotter ( 1996 ), one of the most widely recognized change theorists, suggested the following conditions must be addressed to deal with change in an organization:
· Education and communication
· Participation and involvement
· Facilitation and support
· Negotiation and agreement
· Manipulation and co-optation
· Explicit and implicit coercion
In the HIMSS ( 2015 ) Nursing Informatics Impact survey, nursing informaticists were identified as the most significant resource in a project team that influences adoption and change management. Nurses bring to such teams their ability to interact with various clinicians, their knowledge of clinical practice, and their ability to empathize with the clinicians as they experience the impact of workflow change. These innate skills differentiate the nursing informaticist from other members of the implementation team and are highly desirable in the informatics community.
Nevertheless, no matter which change management techniques are employed by the informatics specialist and the project team, adoption of technology and workflow may be slow to evolve. Change is often a slow process that requires continual positive reinforcement and involvement of supporting resources. Failure to achieve strong adoption results early on is not necessarily a failure of the methods utilized, but rather may be due to other factors not entirely within the control of the informaticist.
Perhaps a complete alteration in behavior is not possible, but modifications to behaviors needed to support a desired outcome can be realized. This situation is analogous to the individual who stops smoking; the desire for the cigarette remains, but the behavior has been modified to no longer sustain smoking. To manage change in an organization, nurses must modify behavior to produce the intended outcome.
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