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4 Tips To Achieve Change Management Success And Become A Digital Payer

Change management is a complex process that involves stakeholders across an organization. It’s not just the technical aspects that matter, but how successfully health plan leaders educate and engage the teams that will be impacted by organizational change.

When it comes to implementing a technology solution, some leaders might overlook the human element—getting so caught up in the process and technological details that they forget about the people involved. Methods like the People Process Technology framework can help by encouraging health plans to identify the training, documentation, and skillsets the team will need to be successful. But there are other ways to set your health plan up for change management success.

To demonstrate effective change management, here are the stories of two different health plans as they implemented digital solutions.

What does change management success look like?

Our first example is a health plan that successfully implemented a digital solution and achieved a significant return on investment (ROI).

Health plan leaders identified their current processes and reviewed them alongside their employees to pinpoint opportunities to phase out manual, low-value tasks. To ensure they were making the best choice for their needs, stakeholders investigated multiple solutions. They included middle management in the decision-making process to ensure those who would use the system had a voice in its selection.

This health plan invested substantial effort into the design, testing, and training phases of their new systems. They went live on schedule, within scope, and on budget. This resulted in exceptionally high buy-in and an impressive return on investment.

What does unsuccessful change management look like?

The second example involves a health plan that did not achieve long-term adoption of their chosen digital solution.

In this case, a senior leader new to the organization selected a vendor based on their previous experience, and shared the expectation that the system would help cut costs and make their health plan more competitive. However, despite on-time and on-budget implementation, the project struggled to get buy-in and engagement from stakeholders. This lack of engagement led to an unwillingness to test the new platform and engage in training sessions.

Within two weeks of go-live, the system was abandoned because end users didn’t like the way the platform functioned or how it impacted workflows.

4 Steps to set your health plan up for change management success

There are a few key differences between the two health plans mentioned above. One plan focused on educating their internal teams and getting organizational buy-in, facilitating technology adoption and achieving ROI. The other plan allowed one person to take charge and implement changes from the top down without communicating or sharing information with their wider organization, resulting in low adoption and usage.

How can you develop a change management strategy that sets your health plan up for success? These are four recommendations based on experiences with our customer implementations.

1. Understand and support employees

Knowing the needs and capabilities of your team is crucial. Your health plan could find the perfect technological solution, but it won’t be successful unless you have organizational support. It is important to have clear, open channels of dialogue from the onset so stakeholders and users can understand the value of new technology solutions as well as what will be expected of them. This is a great opportunity to emphasize how the new technology can help automate low-value work and empower your team to accomplish higher-value tasks.

2. Focus on inclusion and transparency

Involve middle management in decision-making and foster transparency with regular updates and opportunities for participation. Getting buy-in from middle managers is essential to gaining widespread organizational support. Give your team an early overview and demonstration of the system as it’s being built and implemented—not when it’s fully formed. Showing the new solution to your team and engaging with them helps garner approval and improve adoption.

3. Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Each member of your team needs to understand the personal benefits that the new solution will offer. By engaging with and educating employees on the new solution, you’re enabling them to have discussions about how they’ll be expected to use this new technology and the value it will bring to their roles. At HealthEdge, our Professional Services team can help facilitate transparency with our customers through continuous dialogue. We show your team how the new system functions and engage a larger group to understand the company’s perspective on the solution.

4. Establish a change management work stream

An important step is establishing a project work stream dedicated to change management. Doing so can help you understand where your health plan stands in onboarding and addressing challenges that surface along the way. It is important to engage with your employees and over-communicate. This can be achieved by using change management methodologies such as: engaging leadership, defining why change is necessary, communicating the vision, obtaining employee buy-in, and reporting progress. To be successful, your health plan must lean into change management—you know your organization best and can help set the trajectory for success.

Preparing for change in your organization

Change is an inevitable and necessary aspect of growth—especially in healthcare. We’ve seen which strategies work, and which don’t when it comes to implementing a new digital solution. Remember, the more you involve and support your team from the beginning, the more likely your digital solution will be adopted successfully.

Engage with your team, provide them with a clear understanding of what’s to come, and give them the resources they need to succeed, and you’ll have a team ready to leverage new digital tools and embrace digital transformation.