How to ensure a successful change management process

Health care organizations often run into the problem where information regarding the changes made to electronic health record systems are not efficiently documented or communicated within the company and its end-users. According to InformationWeek, providers frequently overlook how crucial a good change management process is when it comes to the development of EHRs, which can significantly affect the success of new EHR systems, slowing down the rate at which they progress.

Even the most efficient organizations should conduct frequent reassessments of how their processes are operating for their staff and their end-users. However, an accurate reassessment is impossible without an effective change management process. For the organizations having difficulty enhancing their EHR build-keeping, consider the following four tips to establish better communication as you develop your EHR system. 

4 tips to an effective change management process 

1. Familiarize yourself with the resources
One of the first steps to implement an efficient change management process is being aware of who is responsible for each part of the EHR development. It is crucial that the organization has build items assigned to specific resources to prevent change approvals from being delayed by means of the test/QA. InformationWeek suggested involving build team managers, an analyst, support team managers, an end-user support specialist, an end-user who calls for changes to the system and a leadership figure who approves the alterations.

Users who request for improvements are essential, as they offer further details when required and serve as testers when alterations are made. 

2. Know the process like the back of your hand
Some of the most important questions to be asked during the beginning stages of the change management process are what system or software will be utilized to document and communicate the coming changes, how the alterations will be discussed and finalized and how the end-user requests will be accepted. 

Once you are familiar with the resources involved in the process, further initial requirements in the change management structure are reviewing, summarizing and defining the procedure. All of the resources that are a part of the process will benefit from knowing how changes and updates to the EHR software will be tracked and communicated. This includes those in essential leadership roles in the process structure who may not be around during daily build meetings.

3. When changes occur, know the details
All of the people who play a role in the change process should have a clear grasp on the alterations that have been made to the system and should be informed of the approximate time the change will be finalized. One way to keep an organized record of your change management is to document each key detail. Be sure to include the crucial key aspects in your detailed change management documents. These include the name of the end-user making the request, the change being requested, the build or development work that this particular request calls for, when the alterations are set to be implemented in the test/QA and how they will be approved. The last and most important detail on your document should be when the changes will be active in the live system.

4. Keep a record of what went on
Creating a detailed log of the changes that were made will provide information such as who made what change, the reasons behind it and when they were made if, for some reason, the process ever needs to be looked back on. A few factors that an effective change process tracking system should include are before-and-after screenshots from the build analyst if necessary, how the changes will affect the system's users a few weeks down the road, when the end-user was notified of the completed update and who completed the change.