The Importance of Change Management in Healthcare Organizations

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A major area of management in healthcare practice that is of great concern is the management of change. The managements are required to acquire new techniques of managing processes and activities in order to overcome the limitations associated with the pervious techniques (Al-Abri 2007). Moreover, change is a continuous occurrence in healthcare organizations. An example of a change incident is when a new employee is introduced to a department or a section of an organization where specialized services are provided. When a new nurse is introduced to the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) department, it is important that there should be a change in practices by incorporating the services of the new employee in the working schedule. Effective change management involves the acquisition of skills of handling complexities in procedures, planning, implementation of operations, and ensuring that the change achieves the objectives for its implementation.  This paper examines the change management procedures that need to be followed when a new IBD nurse has been introduced to manage the activities that take place in a healthcare organization that provides services to patients experiencing this disease.

Creation of Mission and Vision Strategy

            In order to implement change effectively, it is recommended that a clear vision and mission should be developed. While the organization may have a mission and vision, it is required that the new mission and vision should integrate the objectives of the change. In order to achieve change, the manager is required to challenge the current processes of providing services to patients and promote the implementation of new suggestions. The achievement of change is a long-term process that also requires inputs and perseverance from the manager and other stakeholders in the change process. In the context of providing treatment for IBD patients, greater focus should be on promoting quality services, improved recovery of patients, reduced referral of patients, and improved customer satisfaction.

Tasks and Activities that will Constitute Change

            A major tasks that will need to be performed to achieve change is the creation of a new work schedule which incorporates the time of operation by the surgeon who works at the Tallaghat hospital. There will be a change in managerial practices by incorporating the patients’ assessment procedures after they have undergone surgical operations. Another change component will be in terms of a working schedule that incorporates the participation of the new IBD nurse in the provision of managerial services in the organization. Change management will also incorporate assessment tasks at the operative unit to determine whether patients are able to be successfully operated and treated from IBD. 

Change Management Practices

Change management is important because it ensures the organization does not revert back to the previous ways of performing tasks such as work schedules, operational tasks on IBD patients, and the provision of nursing services. Effective change management will be achievable when all the employees are included as part of the team. In order to manage change effectively, it is recommended that Kurt Lewin’s change model should be implemented. This change model recommends that change should be managed by incorporating components such as; unfreezing change, moving change, and refreezing change (Manchester et al. 2014).

Unfreezing Change

In this stage of change management, the change manager conducts and assessment of the driving factors for the change and assesses the current situation to determine what needs to be done to achieve the best outcomes. The involvement of staff in the analysis of opportunities enables the identification and compensation for those who are resistant to change. In the current organization, the nurse manager will identify the current practices and establish the tasks that need to be delegated to the new IBD nurse. The likelihood of the new IBD nurse to resist the roles assigned to him/her should be assessed in order to provide an opportunity for using a different approach of training the nurse to develop positive attitude towards his/her role. This stage of Kurt Lewin’s change model is based on the view that people will always try to avoid change by applying past procedures and technics of performing tasks. The refreezing stage is determined by other factors such as the variations in the skills, experience, and competences of staffs (Mitchell 2013). If the staffs have greater skills, they are able to learn new techniques of management early in order to promote the achievement of the desired outcomes.   

Moving Change

When the obstacles and opportunities for a change in practice have been identified, new methods of managing tasks and procedures should be implemented. During this stage, nurse managers need to be trained to apply the new procedures for performing tasks and completely abandoning the previous procedures and practices of managing patients. According to (), change can only be achieved by ensuring the driving forces are implemented while resistance forces are suppressed. The team members should be completely aware of the benefits of the new methods of managing operative procedures for patients so that they understand the logic behind their implementation (Batras, Duff and Smith 2016).  The nursing managers should agree on what the procedures they will be following in the management of IBD patients under the new systems, and continuously adapt to them while focusing less on the previous methods of performing tasks.  Team members show reluctance to apply the new methods of managing patients should be motivated and trained. The employees who use the past methods of managing patients as their preferred method should be advised to focus more on the new methods and motivated by being informed about the advantages of new techniques. Within weeks after change has been instigated, every member of the team is expected to feel confident to provide services to IBD patients and every team member should be willing to use the new methods in preference to the previous methods.

Refreezing Change

In this stage of change management, the previous methods of managing patients is completely abandoned and the new method is applied in the management if tasks and procedures. The new nurse manager needs to be informed that the new method of managing IBD patients is the acceptable method and the past procedures are declared obsolete. The change manager needs to anchor change by identifying the performance metrics that need to be achieved by the new method of managing patients while identifying barriers and formulating solutions for overcoming them (Al-Abri 2007). The change manager is required to formulate methods of reinforcing change in the organization by playing the leadership role and establishing feedback systems that promote effective implementation of change in managing IBD patients and facilitating the flow of tasks such as surgery, admission, and consultation. Development and reinforcement of change can be achieved by creating a reward system that rewards employees who are compliant with the requirements of the change in practice and creating an organizational structure that facilitates the implementation of change. In the unfreeze stage, additional support and training is recommended to ensure employees acquire skills and competence in the recommended procedures for managing patients with IBD and those who have undergone operation.

Assessment of Change

            This is the stage where the nurse manager examines the effectiveness of change procedure in promoting the achievement of outcomes such as improved healing of the post-operative patients, increased patient recovery from IBD, and the ability of the surgeon to experience little difficulties in organizing his schedule of activities while addressing the needs of patients in the neighboring hospital (Manchester et al. 2014). The effectiveness of management can be assessed in terms of the ability of nurses to experience little difficulties in implementing schedule of activities or alternating in the performance of their functions.


            When a change in practice is implemented in an organization, it is not enough to inform the staff about the new procedures to be followed, but it is recommended that adequate change management practices must be implemented. The nurse manager must play a leading role by motivating other employees in the performance of tasks using new procedures while creating awareness about the advantages of performing tasks as recommended in the change efforts. The management of IBD patients is a sensitive area of nursing practice because patients need to be managed effectively before and after undergoing operations. There is the need to formulate a schedule of activities to be followed by existing and new employees in order to manage them well. When a new nurse is introduced into the IBD management department, the employee must be trained to acquire a set of values and principles that promote the achievement of objectives such as; high quality patient services, improved recovery of patients, high customer satisfaction, and effective utilization of resources within a healthcare organization. A suitable framework that can be used to effectively manage change is the Kurt Lewin’s Change Model which is composed of stages such as; unfreeze, change, and refreeze. This change model is useful because it requires that the employees do not sporadically change to a new method of performing tasks, but do so in a continuous learning and adaptation until they stop using the previous method of performing tasks in order to use the new methods and procedures.

List of References

Al-Abri, R., 2007. Managing change in healthcare. Oman medical journal, 22(3), p.9.

Batras, D., Duff, C. and Smith, B.J., 2016. Organizational change theory: implications for health         promotion practice. Health promotion international, 31(1), pp.231-241.

Manchester, J., Gray-Miceli, D.L., Metcalf, J.A., Paolini, C.A., Napier, A.H., Coogle, C.L. and          Owens, M.G., 2014. Facilitating Lewin's change model with collaborative evaluation in     promoting evidence based practices of health professionals. Evaluation and program         planning, 47, pp.82-90.

Mitchell, G., 2013. Selecting the best theory to implement planned change: Improving the       workplace requires staff to be involved and innovations to be maintained. Gary Mitchell                      discusses the theories that can help achieve this. Nursing Management, 20(1), pp.32-37.

October 30, 2023
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