Whether looking for software to help bring your care company into the technology led future or changing from another software provider that isn’t quite the right fit, purchasing and implementing a new way of working in an intense work atmosphere can be tough. In this blog post I am not only going to talk about how to prepare and breeze through the implementation process, but also some of the things that can possibly go awry.

Involving your staff

One of the most important things to remember is to involve your staff at all points of the journey. From finding a provider to fulfil the daily needs of your staff to getting them to be advocates for the software when it is in place. The team around you are going to be the ones who make the software work or fail. They are the ones putting in the data, they are the ones using the tool daily and at the end of the day are the ones who can gain the most out of the technology. It should be a collaboration, not everyone is going to be comfortable with the changes but getting everyone involved and listening to them will make everybody feel part of the process and more supported.

Super Users

A simple way to help your team come on board is by assigning certain staff members who you know are strong IT users to be advocates for the incoming change. These chosen team members will be your super-users – the people other staff members can go to with questions or for a helping hand. They are also great for tackling any concerns by team members because they are using the tools themselves in the same way.

The 7 C’s

Below you will see the list for our 7 C’s of implementation. A simple guide for having a head start and a strong foundation for the incoming changes:

  1. Clarity – The plan that takes you through should be clear, easy to read and practical. It should be dynamic and be reviewed by those responsible for leading the project.
  2. Communication – The staff are your most valuable asset, communicating, or collaborating with your staff helps them prepare for the changes that new technology and software will bring. Regularly talk to the staff and stakeholders and listen to them. Ensure a sense of transparency throughout the organisation, which in turn will encourage your staff to invest in the new processes.
  3. Change Management – One of the greatest challenges is the fear of change. People do not like change, they are significant changes and can be daunting and intimidating. Successful implementation is not possible without a dedicated change management approach that prepares and supports staff.
  4. Criteria – Most cases require software, hardware and equipment, broadband infrastructure, information management, overhauling of processes etc. How accurately does it address the criteria unique to your organisation?
  5. Checklist – Essential elements if it’s to be successful. An outline of activities, tasks and time-frames. A summary of resources, hardware and infrastructure. A summary of the professional services investment required by organisation. An outline of quality assurance and control measures. Potential risks and actions to mitigate them. Timelines for installation and setting up. Liaison with pharmacy and Medication advisory committee. Key staff who will be IT champions. Standardised operational procedures. Phasing of the approach of training staff.
  6. Call on help – It is a complex undertaking, ask for help when it is needed. Other organisations like your own are often open to sharing their experiences and are a valuable reference throughout the entire journey.
  7. Choose the right provider – Be sure to partner with a technology and software provider that has a good track record and positive reputation for delivering implementations on time and on budget.

Kick-off

An initial step for us at iCareHealth once you have decided to purchase our software is to engage with the team, we organise a kick – off meeting. We will confirm the implementation plan and ensure the home has all the required hardware and Wi-Fi infrastructure to ensure a seamless transition. We then train the pharmacies, training however is different for all organisations due to their varying size and rollout strategy. The content that is covered however is consistent to ensure all homes are confident in using our software. Your dedicated consultant will support you in agreeing lesson plans to support the consistent delivery of course content across your organisation.

How do you deal with issues during implementation?

With any new process being introduced, it is going to take time before it becomes second nature and part of the normal day to day processes. There are also things that are going to be problematic and go wrong, but how you deal with these situations in a way to minimise their impact is going to be important.

  • Training attendee absence – Staff will not be fully competent using the solution, this can lead to bad practice and a loss of faith in the solution – The registered manager will ensure that required staff attend training and agree to cascade training internally if staff have missed training sessions.
  • Staff turnover – Super users as previously mentioned will be upskilled to cascade future training requirements. iCareMeds eLearning is accessible 24/7 along with the iCareHealth Knowledge Base.
  • Wi-Fi coverage issue – iCareMeds will be less effective if off line in the ward – The most suitable devices and infrastructure will be put in place by to ensure the best possible data connection.
  • Pharmacy staff may not be available or have resources in place for training – Go live dates may be delayed if the pharmacy is not ready – Ensure that the pharmacy commits to dates for training.
  • Prescription delays – Support days will not proceed without medication data or delivery of medication within the agreed timeline – Ensure prescription order is processed with agreed timescales & and delays are communicated effectively.
  • Hardware breakage – Back-up devices or service plans in place.
  • Device security – Hardware should be password protected and meet the requirement of your IT policies and procedures.

Implementation

Implementation begins. The pharmacy data is processed, reviewed and checked. We work alongside your organisation to ensure the software is configured and deployed in the best way to fulfil your needs and deliver upon your expectations from a compliance and efficiency perspective. Our products get shipped with an industry standard set of charts and assessment forms to build your care plans, your consultant can also work with you to build custom assessment forms and care plans should you feel they would further benefit your organisation and support the change management process for your teams.

‘We pride ourselves in giving our clients the best possible experience. Having a well-structured approach to implementation is a key part to a project’s success. Including providing a Kick-off meeting before we provide training which provides valuable discussions around a project.’

-Emily Earl, Projects Coordinator.

Using the technology

Go live! As an iCareHealth partner, we want to ensure we provide you with the most seamless transition onto your new digital platform and support you during the latter stages of change management. We endeavour to be onsite for the go live day to ensure that your residents information is being recorded accurately and efficiently. This is also a great way for the care staff who are nervous using the new software get the support they need from our consultancy team. We then review and come back to the home after the go live day to ensure management and senior staff are happy with the way the software is configured. Following this your organisation will be formally handed over to our dedicated account management and support teams.

You should feel comfortable along the entire length of your technology journey. If you are not and something doesn’t quite add up, take a moment to look back at the original objectives you were aiming to achieve. If some of them don’t seem to be coming to fruition talk to the team that is there to help you.

How to make it work for you

In summary, it really isn’t about the tech. It is all about keeping the whole team involved and included in the changes that are happening. Align people’s interests, get your super users ready and feeling positive about what is going to be achieved and they can help eliminate uncertainties with other team members. Evaluate where you began and as said previously, make sure your original needs are being met. It is a continuous process. Technology is being updated all the time so it is important your team feel confident and can do their job to the absolute best of their ability.