How to successfully onboard practitioners

Physitrack University 

How to successfully onboard Physitrack in your clinic

If there is one thing we have learned, it is that the only thing that doesn’t change - is change itself. Though it may seem that eHealth or virtual care is a phenomenon restricted to the Covid lock-downs we have been in, current research suggests evidence that virtual care will be a lasting and important addition to traditional healthcare. 

While it is inevitable you will need to adapt to this new way of working, changing one’s way of working can be challenging - as change always is. However, you can save a lot of heartache by “managing” that change. This can be done through active engagement in change-management theory, through which you proactively look for and pursue the path of least resistance. Practically speaking, this will be easier if you win maximum buy-in from your colleagues and patients, by convincing them to embrace the use of Physitrack and PhysiApp in their everyday lives.

Supported by decades of research on how change can be managed, here are the stages you should consider when implementing Physitrack into your clinic. We will be looking at 5 different stages: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement (also known as the Prosci ADKAR® model). By following and understanding these concepts in this order, you are already a step ahead in implementing eHealth and virtual care in your clinic, and thus benefitting from its lasting role in healthcare.

Awareness: understanding the “Why?”. Why is the step towards eHealth critical? Why is this change needed? In this first stage of implementing something new, communication and access to information is key. Be prepared for difficult questions and make sure you have the answers. It is normal for some to be against change. Have a clear message to why the implementation to eHealth and virtual care is necessary for the business. Understanding this point of view, will help you navigate through the difficulties with ease.

Tips to create awareness:;

  • Dedicated meeting explaining the need for this change (what would happen if you don’t, i.e., less access to patients or gradually weakening financial performance). 
  • Build awareness that a change is going to happen, and support is there for the transition. 
  • Individual meetings, and/or dedicated time for an open-door policy to actively engage colleagues and/or patients to understand the reason for the shift towards eHealth.

Desire:create the longing amongst all stakeholders (practitioners, patients, colleagues) to use an eHealth platform such as Physitrack. Motivate them to become a part of ‘the new way’, through which they can enhance their patient care. The most important question they will ask themselves is: “what’s in it for me (WIIFM)?” Where is the direct benefit?  So what can you do to make it more desirable to embrace eHealth? Can you figure this out? In the end: happy practitioners = happy patients = better outcomes = higher revenue.

Tips to build desire: 

  • Incentive programs (for instance introduce a fun “Physitrack-user of the month”) 
  • Involve colleagues in creating the needed solution,  
  • Personal engagement by coaches (clinic owner, and/or colleague(s)) 
  • Pro-active management of resistance.

K nowledge: once everyone is aware and has the desire to change, knowledge is the next step to successfully bring about change. This not only encapsulates the knowledge of what needs to be done during the transition, but also the knowledge of the skills and behaviours needed to support the change. Without knowledge, people feel powerless, which results in: confusion, frustration, inaction, and ultimate revolt. Be aware that “digital” still can be perceived as “scary”, therefore providing individuals with the knowledge and confidence about the subject will go a long way.

Tips to implement knowledge: 

Ability: this is the stage where  knowledge is put into practice and change actually occurs. At this point it is of importance to help your colleagues successfully build ability through practice. Be sure to provide time, feedback, coaching and access to the right tools. A small training or 10-minutes review can give your team the boost that is needed to succeed. Ultimately, merging knowledge with ability allows for true change to be realised on both individual and organisational levels. 

Tips for promoting ability: 

  • Hands-on practice during training (see for inspiration),  
  • Direct involvement of coaches (look for signs of resistance, confusion etc) Performance monitoring (i.e. through PT Direct),  
  • Setting up a buddy-system,  
  • Follow-up trainings (for instance on how to look professional using Telehealth).

Reinforcement: in the last stage of creating lasting change in your clinic, it is important to foster reinforcement. You can successfully achieve this through celebration, rewards and recognition, feedback, and corrective actions as needed - perhaps even a simple “thank you" to your employees or patients. As you know “old habits die hard”, thus continuously strengthening the use of eHealth and virtual care in your clinic, will ultimately foster change, and move your organization in the direction you want to go.

Tips for enhancing reinforcement: 

  • Publicly visible performance scoreboards that positively show how well Physitrack works 
  • Active positive feedback from supervisors (Thank you) 
  • Visible recognition by clinic owner or other senior level colleagues. 
  • Compensation and appraisal systems that support using Physitrack.

When all 5 stages have been implemented correctly, you are successfully managing change and are on the road to providing virtual care through eHealth. Naturally, everyone is different and may need more guidance. Some are happy to implement the change (or have the desire), but after a while they get confused. Or, perhaps colleagues/patients are showing signs of frustration. These are normal signs that certain stages of your plan have not yet successfully taken shape - and that’s ok. When looking at the table below, you can take corrective actions if you see evidence of confusion, resistance, reluctance, frustration or backsliding. For instance, if you see resistance…Build on creating desire. If your colleague backsliding…Foster reinforcement. This is an evolutionary process, and will require you to implement, assess, improve and repeat - just as anything worthwhile would. 

By understanding how to successfully bring about change through a Change Management process, you will be able to evolve your practice and your business to meet the demands of today, and tomorrow. Physitrack is a tool that has helped thousands of practitioners around the world do just that. By introducing Physitrack into your world, you are already embracing tools and a system that can make that change easier. Use these Physitrack processes that have been utilised by your global colleagues and make change happen. 

Good luck and please let us know how else we can help you successfully implement virtual care services through Physitrack’s eHealth platforms.

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