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Written by: Bob Habasevich, PT on Friday, September 9, 2011 Posted in: Inpatient Rehab

Coming Soon to a Rehabilitation Hospital Near You

The long awaited CMS production of Change is in its final rehearsals with scheduled release sometime after October 1, 2011. This year’s iteration will be the latest addition to the current series of change productions staring healthcare providers and a cast of thousands. For the first time, and making their directorial debut, may be you!

Who is Directing Change in Your Hospital?

It is increasingly apparent the future of healthcare will be different from the past, especially when the audience now demands more value for each dollar spent.  As stated before, this has implication for every clinician to be the best they can be in playing their part to accomplish patient centric goals and outcomes.

Provider organizations are facing service and product challenges with new performance management initiatives to ensure the execution of change supports the hospital’s mission and is coordinated and achieved through the efforts of all employees.  Not all hospitals are equally prepared. Change scripts are incomplete, incomprehensible and often lack a compelling plot connecting the beginning and end. Directors are hard to find or unable to manage change when it is poorly understood or unwritten.

A director’s success can be linked to the appreciation of the risks associated with managing performance.  These risks can be described by three categories of threat to performance and must be managed concurrently.  The director’s preparation must pay particular attention to risks from uncontrollable, uncertain and external events;  coordinating multiple efforts at the system level to ensure all resources are available and directed at performing to meet expectations. Second, the director must ensure consistency from employees and clinicians to prevent varying from the script and performing with ineffective or undesirable actions. And thirdly, the director must ensure performance achieves the hospital’s strategic objectives.

In these times of uncertainty, successful change depends on the director’s ability to manage performance. It is not sufficient to just know the script. A strategic plan must position the hospital for a cultural transformation to using feedback of performance tactics to fine tune and improve.

Linking Strategic Performance Management with Leadership and Change Management

 Performance management is the execution of the hospital’s mission through the coordinated effort of others. Performance management is a system and process that impacts everyone in the organization. You can argue that performance management is the most important job of a manager. In fact, you can argue that the execution of the organization’s mission is the only job of management. Too many organizations use performance management in an administrative reporting or check-box exercise to indicate successful completion of tasks hoping change occurs. In order to ensure that the agreed performance targets and objectives are in fact the focus of everyone’s day-to-day efforts, organizations are using reporting methods down to individual levels and must align the achievement of expectations with feedback and recognition.

What becomes clear is that the softer side of performance management and change management play a key role in getting this right. It is less about creating a system of multiple reports, cascading, reviewing and aligning targets and measures much more about leadership, inspiration and conversations that engage people on an emotional level.

It will become necessary to involve HR in the roll out of strategic performance management. Expectations and incentives need alignment as professional and clinical behaviors will be influenced.  Successful organizations need both inspirational leadership and effective management, working in harmony, together:

  • Leadership creates the vision and sense of urgency. Leaders communicate, inspire and motivate.
  • Management provides the rigor, alignment, and discipline required to implement the strategy and achieve the vision.

Leadership is the most crucial ingredient of any successful performance management initiative. To ensure a successful run of change in your organization, the director of performance management must be prepared to play the lead.

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