By Kim Bassett
The United States healthcare system is undergoing major changes in policy that will affect nearly every part of the population. While it can be difficult as a healthcare organization to weather these changes, it is possible to not only survive, but flourish using three fundamental strategies:
- Create partners. Community partners. System partners. Physician partners. See each other as true partners in healthcare, not as enemies or in silos. As a cohesive unit, we can identify problems earlier and collectively create solutions. Creating partnerships lead to educational opportunities specific to healthcare policy changes.
- Educate. Education is key to adapting to change. Proper education helps people and organizations adapt more quickly. Find non-partisan or unbiased people knowledgeable on the changes to help you understand the policy changes. You can then determine the best options for communicating these changes to the people in your organization.
- Review the demographics of the population you serve. Who is going to be affected by these changes? How? Once identified, cater your communications to them. Reach out to them. Provide reassurance through clear communication and education. Arm them with information so that they can make informed decisions that will affect their healthcare options. Offer programs or opportunities to meet the needs of this affected population.
Create an organizational support group of experts that can help you present a unified image to your employees and to the public. This sense of organized action will increase the speed at which you can respond to these policy changes.
It also creates a sense of security among your employees and patients. While legislators continue to debate healthcare policy changes in Washington D.C., we must prepare both internally and externally to understand and be ready to adapt our systems to the inevitable healthcare policy changes.