The successful adoption of any new IT solution already starts during the software implementation process. One way to help make user software acceptance successful can be a Clinical Engagement Day.
This is a dedicated event in which a hospital’s staff spends time with the hospital’s ePMA team, the IT team in charge of implementation and, potentially, the vendor’s specialists. A Clinical Engagement Day can help on many levels: it can clarify what changes staff can expect, inform users who they can to turn to in case of questions, and (on the actual day) it can address any fears and concerns staff may have, just to mention a few benefits.
So, what should you bear in mind when preparing for such an event?
- Plan your Clinical Engagement Day as well as possible
In order to have a clear plan, which includes all the stakeholders (staff, IT teams, etc.), it is imperative to determine the topics that need to be covered during your Clinical Engagement Day. For example: the number of software demos which will be shown, the number of sessions which will be dedicated to collecting feedback, whether you are going to have different agendas for nurses, doctors, and pharmacists, etc. When you have a clear content plan, continue with the logistics plan, like who to include: which wards, and the number of external people from the vendor’s partner in charge of the IT implementation. You may also need to consider expanding sessions over several days, or a week, when you take into account the availability of the staff who will need to use software first.
- Create opportunities for staff
When planning a Clinical Engagement Day, bear in mind that this is not only an opportunity for your staff to get familiarised with upcoming changes, but also a chance for the ePMA team to get closer to the users. To get valuable feedback, which will further help you plan adoption scaling, dedicate time during the Clinical Engagement Day for users to share their thoughts, opinions, and concerns. All these activities can help the ePMA implementation team identify which users to include in later stages of the implementation, such as User Acceptance Testing, tracking of benefits, etc.
- Promote the Clinical Engagement Day across the hospital, and in advance
If people are informed about an event while it is already taking place, they can feel frustrated or indifferent. Organisers need to do some research about the most suitable time slots for each particular group of users, and users need to be able to coordinate and organise their attendance of sessions among themselves. Inform staff members in advance about the event so they can find a way to organise and participate based on their availability and clinical routine.
- Listen carefully
Successful healthcare IT software implementations include a redefinition of work processes. New software aims to optimise existing workflows and, consequently, brings some changes in the way things are done in a hospital. Given the already tight schedules which members of the clinical staff have to deal with, any announcements of changes can be anxiety-inducing. During the Clinical Engagement Day, make sure to ask your staff for feedback, and about any fears they might have. Dedicate enough time in the agenda for them to express their considerations, curiosity, and concerns.
- Enable follow-ups
Some staff members might have questions, but will not feel comfortable asking them; others might think of questions to ask after the event. You can solve this problem by dedicating one of the ePMA hospital team members to gather user feedback. Share that individual’s contact information with the staff so they can reach out if they wish to get any further information or share some feedback.
- Expect some obstacles along the way
Digital transformation is demanding, especially in a clinical environment. No matter how motivated and prepared one is for the implementation, the fact remains that people are diverse. The human factor and cultural constraints will impact implementation and adoption, and will also very likely cause delays in the project for a variety of reasons. Being aware that this is a normal part of the transformation can be an important in reducing the amount of stress in your journey towards “the new normal” with this technology.