Person Centred Software founder and director, Jonathan Papworth, explains how to overcome operational interruption as a barrier to digital adoption.
There is no doubt that any change of process has an operational interruption, just communicating a change takes time, and moving from paper-based systems to digital systems is no small change.
Indeed, the smaller the change then the worse the choice of digital system, because digital systems can do things that paper simply can’t – so if it’s not a big change then there is limited realisation of the benefits of going digital. The mindset has to focus on the benefits digital provides and then managing the operational interruption to be the smallest impact at the outset.
A good digital system will provide massive improvements in operational efficiency, so the trick to minimising any operational interruption is to take advantage of some of these efficiencies as early in the process as possible.
The time saving from efficiency savings can then be used to compensate for the work to change other aspects later, effectively balancing the change so that there is no detrimental impact, only a positive one.
Digital system providers will normally have been involved in many implementations in the past and can guide how to help provide the least detrimental operational impact before benefits are realised.
It is always worth asking how other care providers have implemented any particular digital system, speaking directly with a few care providers to ensure the operational interruption is minimised. It is normally best to implement the system in functional steps, rather than doing everything at once, and it is often best to implement one function across all service users rather than all functions for one service user at a time because this makes the change least confusing for care staff.
Software providers who are used to managing change will have thought through the implementation process and will be able to ensure that process of change minimises detrimental impact, giving the easiest route to receiving the benefits that digital systems provide.