8 steps to bear in mind when going paperless
The pressure on the care sector is pushing some organisations to their very limits. All workflow processes are under review and everyone is looking to optimise where possible. Digitisation is a part of this transformation and using new tools may improve efficiency and boost the care quality. For this, we have gathered 8 steps to bear in mind when switching from paper-based care documentation to a digital solution.
1. Technical clarity
The very first step in the implementation of any digital tool is to make sure all the technical tools are set up correctly. This includes installation of software as well as setting up hardware if relevant. It is in this phase of the process that the success criteria are formulated. By doing this early in the process everyone is aware of the results needed from the project.
2. Start of the project
When the gear is all set up, it is way easier to plan the time scale of the implementation. This time frame is made by the supplier of the tech and the project manager. When you know the criteria for success you can tailor your implementation plan around these to achieve most likelihood of success.
3. Management meeting
After setting up all the deadlines and the overall time table for the entire project, it is time to introduce the plan to the local management team. In this particular phase of the project it is paramount to underline the advantages the new technology hands the managers as well as their employees. Be clear on defining the local management’s role in the implementation. Furthermore, it is important that these ambassadors really believe in the project, so they can convey this enthusiasm to their colleagues and employees.
4. Kick off
So far, the overall management and the local management are the only stakeholders who have been involved. However, at this stage of the project the employees are introduced to the new solution. Depending on your area of business, the employees might have a bit of a hard time adjusting from paper-based documentation and work flows to a new digital approach. Therefore, it is important to maintain the local managers as your biggest supporters. Their most significant task is to continuously explain and underline the purpose of going digital. In short, what’s in it for me?
In addition to this, it is key to allocate resources to answering any questions the employees might have about this new development. In fact, there is nothing spooky about it and information works for you – not against.
5. Train super users
When all employees feel fairly comfortable with their new role and the addition of a tool in their tool box, it is time to train super users. By making ambassadors for the product who truly believe in the value of the tech you are giving the roll out a much better chance to succeed. The super users are able to assist and inspire their colleagues embracing the change in their work processes.
One of the reasons that most IT projects crash is due to a lack of support from its primary users. By educating super users you counteract this exact problem and resist falling into that exact trap.
6. The super users at work
It is one thing to train super users in a safe and non-operational mode, but to actually set them free and practice while working is another thing. We like to do this, and recommend testing out skills when dealing with actual tasks. Just begin light and with a supervision that helps everyone get a good start. This way focus is on succeeding and feeling proud to be well on the way. Gaining confidence makes a huge difference when replacing one way of working with a new way that encompasses learning new skills.
7. Employee training
It is not enough to dedicate time with super users. Every employee needs to feel comfortable with their new role, and especially with this new thing they have working for them. Remember to spend plenty of time on “why” you are changing the old way of doing things with a new and improved way. Why is it important. What good does it do? And ultimately what is in it for everyone? In this phase the inclusion of super users is very important. They carry a lot of understanding and weight here.
8. Going live
Make sure to clearly mark the date(s) where you switch on the power to your new digital solution. This is the culmination of all the work you have been doing to make sure the process goes off without a hitch. Many IT projects meet their demise, because the primary users fail to see the advantages of the product. You have to monitor and follow up on your employees’ utilisation and thoughts on the technology. Do not treat the implementation as finished just because you have gone live with the tech!
How do I ensure the digitisation process becomes successful?
In short, how do you make sure the transition to paperless goes well? In our experience, you need to look at the project holistically. It is not enough to just launch a new product and then turn your back to everything else that goes on. Consider it a transformation process your whole organisation has to go through. The following points should be made in this process:
- Establish a unanimous understanding of the end-goal
- Involve all stakeholders to ensure everyone works towards the same goal
- Create and carry out a set action plan for the implementation
- Educate super users in the technology
- Allocate time and resources for the follow-up process and feedback from the employees
Especially when digitising employees are likely to experience a fear-of-change affiliated with this new tech thing. It’s important not to be too scared of this resistance. After all, it is only natural. Focus here needs to be on addressing the topic and through dialogue change it for the better. A clear and well-executed implementation plan will also mitigate some of these organisational moods, and following these 8 steps is a very good start.