Rearview Mirror – Lessons Learned and the Path Forward for Enhanced Adoption Effectiveness

This is the fifth post in a series of articles highlighting adoption effectiveness for the healthcare setting.

In our last blog on September 6, we discussed three non-negotiables for success and the importance of communication and training in the pursuit of adoption effectiveness. This post, featuring InDemand Interpreting Client Services Manager Tricia Gervais, will highlight key aspects of InDemand’s adoption effectiveness journey and its impact on client success.

Tricia previously worked as the manager of interpreter and volunteer services for a large medical group. She brought this experience to InDemand where she has a deep understanding of how technology can benefit an organization and the challenges a new adoption can pose for healthcare professionals.

Executive Sponsorship

Working closely with healthcare organizations and clinicians, my goal is to help them understand how VRI will make a significant, positive impact on their everyday lives. One of the main hurdles I’ve seen healthcare organizations face when it comes to adoption of new technologies is a lack of executive sponsorship. If the administrative leaders are not directly involved in the adoption, it is typically less successful.

Alternatively, when executives are engaged in monitoring and evaluating the success of their language access program and these individuals are asking questions, are included on team emails and participate in kickoff calls, a new implementation has the potential to exceed expectations. This includes creating an official language access policy mandated by the organization, which results in clinicians taking the initiative seriously. An effective adoption requires a commitment from the healthcare organization and staff, as well as the support and partnership of InDemand VRI, to be most effective.

On the Ground Advocates

Identifying change agents, or on the ground advocates, people on the front lines who are believers in the benefits of VRI, and getting them involved in the process early on, can make a tremendous difference in effectively motivating staff. These individuals are not necessarily organizational leaders, but rather an on the ground staff member who is approachable and reliable and widely respected throughout their department. Change agents are integral in the process of getting staff on board, communicating the importance of the new implementation and how it will benefit their daily lives. By providing on the ground advocates with a clear vision of the program, engaging them in the process by requesting their feedback and working together with them to kick off an implementation, organizations have the opportunity to eliminate many initial challenges. These individuals can provide valuable insight as to how the staff is feeling about the change and provide suggestions to support effective adoption.

What’s in it for me?

It’s always important to remember that what people care about the most is how an implementation is going to affect them. If you can effectively communicate what’s in it for them, then you are going to have more luck gaining adoption. I try to always consider the people aspect of change as well as the technical/logistical aspects.

For example, demonstrating VRI in-person for healthcare teams, where they can experience first-hand how VRI will save them time, lends itself to a much more successful implementation. Once employees see VRI in action, they become true believers. They realize the time-saving benefits, ease of use and immediate access to medically qualified interpreters will eliminate delays in care and frustration for both clinicians and patients.

The Critic

When implementing a new technology, there is nearly always an employee or two who are not happy about the change and/or unwilling to move forward with the adoption. These individuals are usually reacting to a negative historical experience. By addressing their concerns right away and encouraging them to share their thoughts, I have been able to more effectively address their reluctance. I always make direct eye contact with the staff member who is expressing their concerns, ask them pointed questions and request more information to understand their feelings, whether they be positive or negative. Truly listening to these staff members and recognizing their concerns has helped me win them over.

Creating the Vision

Getting people excited about the future state and emphasizing how InDemand’s VRI and talented interpreters will truly support better communication between patients and providers is the goal. It’s important to consider the vision of an implementation and engage healthcare organization leaders and staff to get fired up about the use of VRI. As the executive sponsors, the administrative leadership team carries both the vision for the future state while ensuring the initiative is set up for success.

When hosting a demo, I always hope to hear a personal testimonial from a clinician in the room who has used VRI in the past to provide credibility to the group and a testament to its effectiveness. These individuals are identified as potential change agents.

I want the staff to feel as though they have a stake in the implementation and to feel that they have a voice and their feedback is important. I also work closely with the leadership team to ensure they meet their long-term goals and understand the significant impact the program will have on the future of the organization.

Communicating the change

The other aspect of an implementation is to determine how to most effectively communicate the new technology to the staff and develop a comprehensive communication plan. Some organizations use them more effectively than others, but our approach is to make it incredibly easy for them to implement. We provide a comprehensive plan with specific details on when to deliver the communication and how to articulate it to maximize the impact.

Every organization is different and a tailored approach to the communication plan is key. By involving on the ground advocates every step of the way, providing a comprehensive communications plan, delivering a targeted training program and following up on key performance indicators, we have an opportunity to successfully promote the new VRI implementation throughout an organization, leading to a much more effective program.

In my experience, effective adoption, or adoption effectiveness, can be a tremendous benefit to organizations when implementing a new technology. I always consider the change InDemand VRI will have from my clients’ perspective and truly listen to their concerns when developing a program that will meet their goals and objectives. In addition, designing a communications and training plan that supports the specific objects of a healthcare organization increases the effective adoption of VRI technology.

It’s important to remember that adoption effectiveness is not easy as it requires changes in behaviors, processes and the implementation of new technology. Throughout this series, we focused on the most impactful ways to promote effective adoption throughout an organization. Creating on the ground advocates, mitigating implementation challenges in advance and ensuring effective and timely communications can make all the difference in how a new technology is received by staff and patients alike.

We look forward to your thoughts and feedback on this series and any additional topic ideas you would like to see us cover in the future. Please reach out to me, Tricia Gervais, with your thoughts and feedback on this post at tgervais@indemandinterpreting.com or Casey Zanetti if you have any additional questions about this series at czanetti@indemandinterpreting.com.

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