A wide range of industry-specific technology applications, software and services are providing substantial benefits for aged care providers that implement these solutions. As anyone who has undergone this process would agree, a thorough, well-researched plan is the key to ensuring your implementation is successful, with minimal disruption to your work practices and delivery of care.
Regardless of the type of information technology (IT) you may be considering employing within your organisation, planning for implementation should involve these seven Cs:
An important measure of an IT implementation plan’s quality is its clarity. The implementation plan that guides your organisation throughout the transition should be clear, easy to read and practical. It should also be a dynamic document that is subject to ongoing review and revision by those responsible for leading the project.
Your staff are the most valuable asset your organisation has. Communicating – or better still, collaborating – with your staff will help them prepare for the changes that the implementation of new technology and software will bring. So regularly talk to the staff (and key stakeholders) whom the implementation is likely to affect, and listen to their opinions. Communication will go the distance in ensuring you promote a sense of transparency throughout the organisation, which in turn will encourage your people to invest in the new processes being implemented.
One of the greatest challenges faced by those involved in an IT implementation in aged care, is the fear of change. People – by our very nature – don’t respond well to change. The significant changes that take place when new technology, software and day-to-day work practices are introduced can be particularly intimidating for staff. Therefore, a successful implementation is not possible without a dedicated change management approach that considers all aspects in the preparation, involvement, training and support strategies for all staff.
In most cases, technology-based business solutions for the aged care sector often require a combination of software, hardware and equipment, broadband infrastructure, information management, the overhauling of business processes and more. Another important measure of the quality of an implementation plan is how accurately it addresses the criteria unique to your organisation.
Keeping the above criteria in mind, here is a checklist of essential elements your written plan should include if the implementation of new technology within your organisation is to be a success.
- An outline of activities, tasks, dependencies and time frames
- A summary of resources, hardware and infrastructure requirements
- A summary of the professional services investment required by organisation (ideally, with a fixed price component)
- An outline of quality assurance and control measures
- An outline of potential risks and the actions needed to mitigate them
- Timelines for installation and setting up the solution
- Liaison with a Pharmacy & Medication Advisory Committee
- Identification of key staff who will act as IT champions
- Agreements on standardised operational procedures
- Careful ‘phasing’ of the approach to training staff
Call on help
Let’s face it, implementing new technology and software is a complex undertaking so be sure to ask for help when you need it. Assistance can usually be provided by those organisations in the aged care sector that have already implemented solutions successfully and been down the path before.
Choose the right provider
Most importantly, be sure to partner with a technology and software provider that has a long track record and positive reputation for delivering implementations on time and on budget. iCareHealth’s highly detailed and collaborative Implementation Planning Study (IPS) has evolved over the last decade to become a very powerful blueprint for a successful software implementation. We are happy to share more of this knowledge at a deeper level so to find out about our own implementation process, contact us.
What’s your take? Have you considered all of the seven Cs in your implementation plan? Let us know in the comments below.
(Image credit: Master Isolated Images)