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How to Successfully Implement Change in Healthcare

6 minute read | 02/10/2019

How to Successfully Implement Change in Healthcare

The healthcare industry can be sprawling and complicated which makes implementing change difficult. Processes are often so deeply ingrained and relied on that there can be teething problems when changes are introduced. However, you can take proactive steps to simplify and smoothen this process.



Implementing Positive Change in Hospitals

Since the NHS was founded in 1948, regular innovations and modernisations have improved both patient care and experience. It’s vital that improvements are made to ensure that hospitals provide the very best healthcare for all patients who pass through the doors. 

There is sometimes resistance to change, especially if the reasoning behind a decision isn’t communicated effectively. 


Keeping Healthcare Staff Informed

Staff input is essential when implementing any change that affects their day-to-day work. It is crucial to motivate and gain their support for the decision. They should have a clear understanding of the intended goals of the change and why it is necessary. Ideally, the change should be something they are already familiar with. Staff need to be updated at all stages of the change. From concept and implementation through to continuation, it’s important that they don’t feel left in the dark. There should be ample opportunity for them to offer their thoughts and opinions. 

From the outside, it’s sometimes difficult to see the kind of impact a process is having on a department. Getting insight from those that are closest to the problem is valuable and ensures you can shape process change in the most effective way. 

That's why SPARK® TSL organised Roundtables for NHS employees in the Patient Experience and Estates & Facilities departments. We were eager to listen to the first-hand challenges and concerns raised by the employees themselves. This valuable input will help us enhance our products and find the most effective solutions for these issues.


Offer Return on Investment Stats to Support Change in the NHS

It’s always better to provide comprehensive statistics and data to support any change decision. Any doubts that staff have can be mitigated with relevant data that outlines exactly how things will improve. 

Take hospital meal ordering, for example. It’s a process, in many hospitals, that’s done in the same way as it was 50 years ago, with pen and paper. A member of staff has to make the rounds and record the food choice of all the patients in each ward. 

So much food is eventually wasted because this system doesn’t account for patients being discharged or moved to a different ward after they have ordered their food. Orders can’t easily be cancelled or redirected. This means food is often wasted or patients have no choice but to eat the meal that was ordered by the previous person who occupied that bed. 

There are alternative solutions to meal ordering that can cut this waste. Our SPARK® Media patient engagement platform, for example, has the capacity to facilitate online meal ordering to ensure that every patient receives the meal they’re supposed to. 

Implementing this change will be easier if you can provide statistics to support the decision. For the average 600-bed Trust, the savings made from switching to electronic meal ordering could be startling. This feature alone could save £262,900 per annum, taking into account the following:

  • Total paper removal cost saving per annum = £27,375
  • Total efficiency cost saving per annum = £40,359
  • Total wastage reduction saving cost per annum = £72,270
  • Total reduced length of stay cost saving per annum = £122,896


Find more cost saving statistics by using our ROI Calculator.

Find out how much your Trust could save


Set Management Expectations for NHS Staff

With staff motivated and well-informed, next you need to consider management. For any project to be successful, you need to set clear expectations for the management team. Everything from the budget to timescales needs to be carefully decided and communicated with them.

There might be unexpected costs or unfortunate delays that arise during the process that you’ll need to speak to management about. Transparency is key as they might need to take necessary steps to accommodate the update. For example, more funds may be allocated or temporary processes might have to be introduced to help make the transition period easier. 

Provide regular updates to anyone that might need to be kept in the loop. This ensures any issues caused by miscommunication are avoided and everyone’s on the same page at all times. 


Patient Engagement - Collate and Give Feedback

Feedback is a vital part of implementing any change in the healthcare sector. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to receive feedback from anyone that’s impacted by a new process or change in system. 

It’s also good practice to give positive feedback too. Change projects can be difficult and stressful without the right team spirit and culture. Giving regular good feedback to those that are involved boosts morale, while ensuring everyone is motivated and supportive of the change. 

Hear what staff and patients have to say and make slight adjustments if necessary. Even the best-laid plans might need tweaking once they’re implemented. The best way to collate patient feedback is via an engagement platform. Online surveys can ask patients about their experience without them feeling pressured. 

Feedback collation can be part of a wider platform that includes patient entertainment. For patients to access this and many other innovative services, hospitals need to consider switching the systems they use. 


Changing Hospital Entertainment Systems

Hospital entertainment systems are just one of the areas where you may be considering a potential change. As the owners of the Hospedia Legacy system, after the acquisition of the company in 2021, and champions of the Bring-Your-Own-Device patient engagement system, we are in the position to update patient entertainment solutions.

  1. Transform the patient experience by providing free TV on existing Hospedia Bedside Units for just £1 per bed, per day. Over 10 Trusts have already embraced this change, resulting in a remarkable improvement in patient morale.
  2. Utilise the current infrastructure of the Hospedia Bedside Units and replace the screen with a state-of-the-art model. By implementing SPARK® Media as the platform on these upgraded devices, patients will have access to free entertainment, while the enhanced technology ensures that your Trust can achieve a high return on investment.
  3. Have the option of both Bedside Units and BYOD by creating access to SPARK® Media on patient, staff and visitors own devices.

The patient entertainment solution can be solved by SPARK® because our products are made with patients, staff and Trust’s in mind, making it fully customisable and tailored depending on your needs. Find out more about our products and their capabilities, or get in touch to see how we can help SPARK a change in healthcare.

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