When the change initiative changes

I directed communications during the largest single-build implementation of an Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. We transformed 27 hospitals ranging from small rural facilities to 700-plus-bed medical centers, along with hundreds of clinics, across five states. It was a major upheaval that impacted 70,000 employees/physicians, and we knew it would be challenging – but […]

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Workin’ the changes, enjoying the ride

I’ve had the privilege of directing external and internal communications “in the trenches” during a number of major industry revolutions over the last several decades. From a communicator’s standpoint, what do they all have in common? The need to win over the hearts and minds of those people whose daily work is most impacted by the […]

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Length Matters

Research shows that if most readers look at a page with 8 or 9 dense paragraphs of type, their willingness to read it at all goes down significantly, compared to a communication of 5 paragraphs. This is especially true when major change is swirling around your organization and people are time-stressed. If you let your CEO […]

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Communication tactics during integration of hospitals and medical groups: Lessons Learned, part II

This is the second installment of my mini-series on what I’ve learned from directing internal communications during integration of hospitals and medical group organizations. My previous post focused on strategy – this one tackles tactical components. As integration of employees begins, I create an initial communication with “What’s changing, what’s not.”  We ask managers to deliver it and discuss it with […]

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Communications during integration of hospitals and medical groups: Lessons Learned

Here’s what I’ve learned from directing internal communications to manager and all-employee levels during integration of their hospital or medical group organization into our large health care system. I’ve done two of each. Develop an over-arching communication plan incorporating all HR, IT and other work streams to ensure consistent messaging to impacted populations (theme, tone, […]

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My Top 10 List: Resistance to Organizational or Process Change

Two lists here. First, the top five for implementation of major technology change in a healthcare setting, for physicians and other clinicians. Fear of the unknown Dislike time commitment to get training, practice, become proficient Fear of looking incompetent amidst peers Concern about disruption to operations (patient care) Resistance to standardization (workflows, clinical content, order […]

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What Organizational Change Communication Is and Isn’t

   I recently did a presentation for CAPG (accountable care physicians advocacy group here in California) on the do’s and don’ts of communications strategy that supports change management. I began by defining the parameters. Organizational change communication is not: an increased quantity and frequency of memo announcements from executive leadership, with reminders and cheer-leading messages […]

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The Black Hole in the Middle

As a communicator, one of the most enlightening aspects of training for Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM)  is the focus on mid-managers during change within a large organization. When they aren’t on board with a major change, they can truly represent a black hole.  Many organizations have made the mistake of going this route (below): Executive […]

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Employee Integration After Acquisition – the Communications Factor

Underestimate the impact of an acquisition on the employees of the acquired organization at your own risk and peril. Just because an employee will continue to do their same job after integration, doesn’t mean that things don’t change in their work world. Often it’s dozens of things – their health & welfare benefits, retirement savings, […]

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