There has been a growing interest in Healthcare Information technology and use of electronic health records (EHR) in healthcare facilities. Implementing a new EHR system is a change process that should not be taken lightly and should involve having all relevant stakeholders on board as well as having a good systematic plan. Rogers (2003) highlights five qualities that have a positive impact on the rate of adoption of innovations.
The purpose of this essay is to reflect on the five characteristics as identified in the theory of diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 2003) and discuss how these features can be applied by a nurse facilitator to deal with change resistance from nurses and facilitate successful implementation of a new electronic health records in a small hospital. According to (Hunt, Sproat, & Kitzmiller, 2004), the introduction of a new technology system requires nurses working at the points of care at all levels to be involved for a smooth transition and high adoption rate. Rogers (2003) defines adoption rate as “the relative speed with which an innovation is adopted by members of a social system” (206). In this case, it is concerned with how fast the hospital stakeholders, particularly the nurses will adopt the new system.
There is some resistance against the new technology expressed by the nurses. Basically, resistance against change is a normal reaction by various stakeholders in any organization. However if the concerns raised by those stakeholders are ignored, the rate of adoption of the new system will be slowed significantly. Therefore as a nurse facilitator, it is important to find ways to manage resistance by addressing the concerns raised by the nurses (Cresswell, & Sheikh, 2009).
Resistance to change can due to many reasons including mistrust, lack of communication, fear of the unknown and lack of skills. To address their concerns, step one will be to understand their reasons for resisting the new system and deal with it accordingly. Some of the techniques employed to manage resistance include making the staff part of the change through consultations (HealthIT.gov, 2013), good communication, assuring them that the change is positive, assuring them that they will be duly trained and using the five qualities by Rogers, (2003) to present the proposed system.
Using the five qualities outlined by Rogers (2003) to assist in preparing the nurses for the upcoming implementation.
The quality of relative advantage is related to individual social perception. With this feature in place, the stakeholders perceive the new system to be superior or better than the one they are using. According to Rogers (2003), relative advantage is the extent to which the new idea is alleged to be more advantageous than the idea preceding it. When the relative advantage is high, the rate of adoption will also be high (Lee, 2004). In order to present the new idea in a way that will help the nurses see its advantages, Visual presentations such as graphs and charts will be used. Also, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the new system side by side will be helpful (McGonigle, & Mastrian, 2014). Lastly, testimonials from people who have successfully implemented the new EHR will be given to assure the nurses of the benefits of the proposed change thus enhance their perception.
This quality is concerned with the consistency between the new system and the existing values, current needs of the hospital and experiences over the years (Rogers, 2003). Nurses have care goals and they should be assured that the new system is compatible with those goals. Additionally, nurses need to put meaning in what they do and they want the time spent with the computer and the new electronic health record system to be helpful to the patients. To win the approval of the nurses, I will highlight the specific advantages of using the new system over the old way in relation to improved service to customers, time-saving due to quick data retrieval and safety of the records stored electronically.
Complexity quality is concerned with ease or difficulty in operating the new system (Rogers, 2003). Nurses could resist the new system if they fear that it will be hard to master and operate. To increase chances for acceptance, the first step is to acquire a user-friendly system. The staff will be assured that the technology is easy to master in order to increase the adoption rate and reduce resistance. A model could be used to demonstrate basic steps in the new system. Communicating to the nurses about the scheduled training will reassure them that they will resolve any complexity issues during then. Also, I would present the idea in a way that emphasizes on the benefits of the new system like that nurses will have more time to spend with their patients and assessing the progress because the new technology will help them perform tasks better and faster with higher accuracy rate (Bates, 2010). Trialability