Change is the name of the game as we move through 2019 and toward the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), one of the largest realignments of service delivery the rehabilitative care industry has experienced in 20 years.  Functional Pathways has been preparing staff for a year in technical processes, coding and understanding how to best support our clients through the shift. 

But we also want to talk about the impact of change on our therapy teams and how managers can lay the groundwork to position their teams to approach change as an opportunity and with the confidence that they can be successful throughout the process.

Look for opportunities to incorporate the five methods below with your teams:

  1. Remember that change is more frightening for some people than others. As a manager, your attitude will set the tone for how change is perceived by your staff.  An effort to be empathetic to those who are struggling will build trust.  Empathetic language conveys civility and compassion.  Ask questions in a nonjudgmental way, listen attentively to the answers, and share your stories of job satisfaction. Employees appreciate knowing that their manager cares. 
  2. Let your team members know what to expect. Give people time to process anticipated changes.  Make sure they understand their role in the change.  Be prepared to answer questions such as: What do I do first, second, third? What happens if it doesn’t work as planned? Where do I go for help? Is what we are experiencing typical?
  3. Build tools and processes that support but don’t overwhelm. Once your team knows what to expect, make sure that they have what they need to get the work done.  Try to incorporate the expertise of your team as you build processes and put new routines in place.  Remember that your staff will have a more limited level of visibility into projects, so they rely on you to provide that.
  4. Take full advantage of existing materials. Don’t forget there is a wealth of information on the Functional Pathways intranet, the PDPM Client Portal and MedBridge.  Communicate regularly with your Area Director of Operations to make sure you are up to date on everything that is available, and you are maximizing those tools with both staff and clients.
  5. Celebrate the victories at each stage. Be sure to notice and commend staff behavior that supports your new objectives.  Acknowledge genuine intentions even if you need to correct the action for next time. Try to instill recognition opportunities for both individual and group accomplishments.

Our goal is to position and prepare you and your teams as you provide expertise throughout the PDPM transition.  If you need additional support with either technical or leadership based skills, please don’t hesitate to work with your ADO or send an email to our PDPM panel at pdpm@fprehab.com.  You may also contact Kellie Buchanan, Director of Education & Research at kbuchanan@fprehab.com to discuss learning opportunities.


This article was influenced by content from the following:
Workplace Empathy is Fundamental, https://www.td.org/insights/workplace-empathy-is-fundamentalAssociation for Talent Development.
Six Steps for Successfully Bringing Change to Your Company, https://www.fastcompany.com/3015083/6-steps-for-successfully-bringing-change-to-your-companyFast Company.

Kellie Buchanan
Director of Education and Research