September 14, 2017
The movement toward value-based care has impacted many areas of healthcare, including a surge in the number of mergers and acquisitions to gain efficiencies and consolidate offerings. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare organizations are being asked to deliver value-based care, rather than working within a fee-for-service model of reimbursement. While a merger can help support the mission of value-based care, it also comes with many challenges, especially for IT departments.
I was recently interviewed for an article with Health Data Management called How CIOs can better manage change in a merger. There are many reasons why hospitals choose to merge, including cost savings to gain more control over care delivery as healthcare prices continue an upward spike. In a previous blog, I talk about how hospital mergers can combat the rise in healthcare costs by standardizing systems and gaining technology that can easily share patient records.
The article highlights how CIOs and IT departments are critical assets to have onboard to make sure the transition into new systems goes smoothly. IT needs to be the foundation to support cost savings, but can also help drive a new unified culture that helps the organization embrace innovation and a new, merged culture within their systems. So how can CIOs drive cultural change with IT systems?
The article lists six steps that CIOs should follow in order to successfully drive change:
- Start early—be at the table from day 1 during merger discussions
- Plan the culture—driving unity is most important
- Develop personal compacts—let yourself and your staff go through the stages of grief over the loss of their former culture and identity
- Build hope—convince employees they will benefit personally from the merger
- Be honest—make changes early and quickly to allow everyone to move on
- Organize for integrated care—move everyone toward building a stronger system of community care
Overall, CIOs need to look at mergers as not just a technology change, but also a cultural change to achieve better patient outcomes. Following the steps listed above and setting the tone for merger-related IT projects will help form a culture to succeed in the new healthcare world of value-based care.
Infor CloudSuite Healthcare allows for a smooth transition when a merger occurs. Our cloud-based technology allows for a faster implementation with the speed of cloud deployment. Also, your organization will gain easier access to data across multiple locations in real-time and easily expand to accommodate the addition of new facilities or clinics. All of this helps improve performance and relieve IT of the burden of timely upgrades so they can focus on other strategic initiatives, such as driving a unified culture.
Has your organization recently merged with another? How are you using technology to drive a new culture within your organization?
-Tim Brown, Chief Business Information Officer