In less than two short weeks the Post Acute Care world will see the biggest change in reimbursement in over 20 years. PDPM here we come.  How daunting is this, most of your employees have never practiced outside of the RUG world.  But remember, the healthcare environment thrives on change.  Imagine practices that did not routinely implement change, patient care would stagnate.  Employees would get frustrated and bored, yes, we healthcare providers, as much as we may complain, also thrive on change.  For we know with change comes better practices and better outcomes.

Despite the inevitable of knowing changes are coming, to be in position for the best opportunity to succeed, staff members must be supported while implementing new processes.  Support your staff and each other by ensuring everyone is aware of the expectations they will be accountable for. 

When the new practices include required documentation changes, it is always best to incorporate those changes into the EHR making it a mandatory field if necessary.  If the new documentation is a regulatory requirement the chances of staff overlooking the field is minimized when the new sections are made mandatory. If the software will not allow advancing to next screen until the mandatory field is addressed, you have a higher chance of success.

Openly discuss the pros and cons with employees.  This will help leaders to understand the fears and concerns of employees and assist with addressing them before you have noncompliance.  It is not helpful to minimize staff members concerns about implementing change.

Transitional times equate to good days and bad days. It’s crucial to stay the course and keep the lines of communication open.  Opt for a “helpline” where employees who are unsure of new processes can make a quick call to an expert for reassurance or guidance.

Use your resources. There is a plethora of excellent resources available, when in doubt, don’t guess… read, ask, call for help.  Remain positive, change takes time.  Despite preparations, when new processes are implemented people initially react slower as they become more familiar with the new ways.  When employees understand that they have leadership support through the upcoming changes it is a smoother transition overall.  Hang in there, it will be smooth sailing soon.

 

Lisa Chadwick
Director of Safety and Risk Management