Application: Planned Change in a Department or Unit
The healthcare sector undergoes constant transformation to meet organizational changes. It is inevitable for healthcare organizations to change because of transformations in sector policies. Healthcare practitioners and organizations operate in environments with rapid changes. They need to adapt to shifting operations to keep pace with new developments in the sector. It is essential to have a basis for organizing and implementing change. A solid framework for change offers a basis for coordination to expedite change. Organizational change enhances the prospects of the realization of objectives. Over the recent past, healthcare organizations have been instilling adaptive measures to boost their institutional capacity, efficiency and realization of a desirable output (Marquis and Huston, 2012).
This essay illustrates how healthcare organizations operate in the environments with rapid changes. It explains the need for healthcare institutions to adapt to shifting operations in healthcare. The essay reviews Kurt Lewin’s development of change structure and relates it to other theories of change. It also illustrates the problems of the governance unit with the association of American hospitals and recommends a solution to the problem in the governance unit (Hartley, 2007). The essay provides ideas of the steps that can be taken in order to institute the change and redress the problem. The paper concludes that healthcare organizations change to upgrade their structures in the contemporary healthcare environment. They must institute change to enhance the quality of healthcare and retain their employees. It is essential for organizations to plan their changes and ground them in appropriate theories. Theories help to unravel background facts regarding the system and its components.
Kurt Lewin’s development of change theory identifies three stages that a change agent must go through before a transformation becomes part of an organization’s system. The first stage is unfreezing. It occurs when a transformation agent institutes change through convincing and sensitizing members. The second stage is movement and it involves the change agent planning and executing change strategies. The third stage is refreezing, and it entails the change agent helping to stabilize the organization system to integrate change with the organizational norms. Lewin’s theory also advances that the forces which lead an organization to adopt change are the driving factors. In addition, it explains that forces which favor the foregoing scenario are the restraining factors.
In contrast to Lewin’s theory, other classic change models and strategies, such as the systems theory, articulate that the association between change agents within any organization system is non-linear and that various factors are continuously in play to alter the environment of the existing situation. The systems theory denotes that there are significant complexities in organizations when instituting change. It advocates that attention and time should factor in understanding different relationships within organizations. The chaos theory also contrasts Lewin’s model to clarify that organizations follow given orders. It advocates that there is a need to find out the underlying order of an organization within a random environment before instituting change. However, the determination of organizational order is a challenging task (Cho, 2001).
I am familiar with the Association of American Hospitals. It is an organization that represents and serves hospitals, healthcare networks, patients and communities to improve the standards of healthcare. I will review the governance unit within this organization. The unit oversees the administration of the association and ensures that it meets its mandate. The unit consists of a board of trustees, constituency section councils, community leadership, regional policy boards and a calendar of governance events (AHA, 2013).
The problem within the governance department is inadequate policies to support the realization of health to communities. There are no adequate policies to enhance the provision of health. The organization cannot assure community members of reaching their highest potential for health according to the association’s mission. Policies act as a supportive framework for anchoring the vision of the association. There is fragmentation of policies to support the implementation of the association’s vision of realizing the high health potential for American patients and communities. Policies affect the managerial decisions because they influence governance decisions the unit makes. In turn, this affects the administrative deliverables of the department. The governance decisions that result from the policies determine whether the unit can meet its targets or not. In addition, it affects the cycle of events in the association. Policies and decisions provide the guideline on the calendar of events in the governance unit. They also affect the ability of the unit to realize its objective. This affects the performance of the governance unit. Appropriate policies are part of the ingredients for reaching high standard of healthcare and can affect the entire system of the healthcare organization. The inadequacy in the department is lack of unity in member associates of the organization. Hospitals in the association often drag in enforcing the strategies of the department and association. The critical issue within the department is how to regulate the rising costs of healthcare in America to achieve the organization’s mission (AHA, 2013). In addition, mobilizing American hospitals to join the association and follow its ideas is becoming a challenging issue. However, the focal problem in the unit is inadequate policies to support the activities of the department and the association. The change that would address these issues is initiating healthcare sensitization program. This program can advocate for change of healthcare policies to adopt favorable strategies that can promote quality patient care to communities. I will introduce training in the unit on healthcare policies. I would devolve the governance of the association to provide the basis for a healthcare professional’s interaction on the regional level rather than the national level. This change will offer a platform for the interaction of hospitals, patients, institutions, public officers and other participants in the health sector. This can offer an opportunity for improving the management of the health sector, information flow and allow better access to healthcare (Hughes et al., 2009).
This change will align with the association’s mission, vision, and values as well as relevant professional standards. The association’s mission is to promote individuals’ and societies’ health. The American Hospital Association takes the initiative to lead, serve and represent health systems, hospitals and other health organizations. The Association ensures that these health providing institutions deliver quality healthcare services to the society and they remain committed to enhancing healthcare. The values of the American Hospital Association include pursuing excellent healthcare for communities, timely delivery, efficiency, reliability and orderliness in promoting healthcare. The relevant standard for healthcare is ensuring community individuals achieve the highest potential of their healthcare. The other standards for healthcare include the presence of an environment that promotes delivery of quality healthcare, adhering to the healthcare code of ethics, support patient satisfaction and provision of healthcare management training and education for organization leaders. The change will guide the governance unit to align with the provision of training and sensitization that can promote the quality of healthcare in the association. In addition, the change will initiate the process of ensuring the realization of the association’s mission and quality healthcare for patients in America (Nelson and Gardent, 2011).
I will use Lewin’s model to formulate a plan for implementing the change within the governance department. The rationale for my selection of the model is that Lewin’s theory is comprehensive and provides a forum for interaction of stakeholders in an organization. The first step I will take is gather information about the need for department training and sensitization on policies. I will convince and sensitize members in the association to accept my ideas of department policy training and devolution of management decisions. Secondly, I will develop plans and lay objectives. I will explain the effects of the changes and the strategies I will adopt to execute them. I will plan meetings to inform and educate the members about the changes. I will assign roles to members in executing the change (Collins and Porras, 1996). In addition, I will also assign a timeline for the implementation of the change. I will implement the change with the assistance of the members and appropriate support. In the third step, I will evaluate the change and assess whether it meets its objectives. I will organize members to redress challenges and loopholes to stabilize the transformation. I will then provide support to sustain the change (Bellot, 2011).
In my opinion, the change should involve governance department section leaders, hospital heads, and associations of employees. The departmental head should initiate the change and various section leaders and employees will manage and sustain the change. The skills and characteristics necessary to facilitate change include imitativeness, hard work, and innovation. The change agents should share the vision, mission and values of the organization and remind stakeholders to maintain consistency in their work. In addition, they should provide funds for sustaining the change, and organize training workshops and social functions for stakeholders to effect change. Employees can support them through showing commitment to deliver (LaSala and Bjarnason, 2010).
In conclusion, many healthcare organizations effect change to upgrade their structures in the contemporary healthcare environment. It has come apparent that healthcare organizations must institute change to enhance the quality of healthcare and retain their employees. It is essential for organizations to plan their changes and ground them in appropriate theories. Theories help to unravel background facts regarding the system and its components. These facts build a basis for pointing out the underlying challenges of a system or organization. However, in examining the challenges, it is essential to evaluate the system components. Some components may be in a good shape while others may be dragging down the health organization. Initiating and coordinating change requires efficient management and leadership skills.
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