Change is hard enough without effective communication. When implementing a new system, performing an upgrade or undergoing a conversion, communication plays a significant role in success, failure or degree of success. If successful adoption to meet the patient safety and
business goals of your organization is an objective, an effective communication plan expertly executed is critical to not only keep your stakeholders informed, but important to keep them aligned for collective success.
Define a communication plan with key stakeholder involvement. Confirm all stakeholders and categorize them into groups. Confirm most effective methods for reaching each stakeholder type. If e-mail is used to communicate a message to key physicians and they ignore e-mails or skim without reading carefully, then an alternative method should be adopted. Keeping stakeholders involved through effective communication helps to deliver valuable, effective solutions with their assistance.
Use a communication matrix that identifies and tracks all project relevant meetings and communication protocols to avoid confusion and to facilitate compliance of effective communication.
Make communications valuable and efficient acknowledging that stakeholders’ time is valuable goes without saying. Monitoring overall project communications is important to look for redundancies that can quickly accumulate depending on the size of the project and the number of stakeholders. Wasteful or inefficient communications can reduce the willingness and motivation of stakeholders to remain informed and can lead to cluttering that may result in unwanted missed communications or miscommunication. The communication matrix can help avoid redundancy.
Verify successful communication and do not make assumptions about whether a critical communication was received, understood and successful is an important step to validate the effectiveness of your communication plan.
Monitor and adjust the communication strategy to include new stakeholders and continue to make improvements based on results that lead to more informed stakeholders aligned for your collective success. This consideration is often ignored and critical adjustments aren't made in time to facilitate the communication required to educate and develop the best solutions to provide the desired levels of adoption and success.
Poor communication leads to stakeholder frustration, alienation and confusion. Stakeholder involvement facilitated through effective communication is an asset that helps build better solutions required to meet your EHR objectives. Although some or all the considerations may seem obvious, success is all about execution.