The decision to implement a new system or piece of automation can have a major impact for your organization or business. The decision making and evaluation process itself can be lengthy and exhausting. Upon identification of the ultimate solution and the completion of the buying process, gears should immediately shift into implementation mode.
Your post-implementation vision of success will not be possible without your active participation in the lead up to the installation and following with the go-live of the new system. Keep in mind, even the best designed and most revolutionary product will require your team to adapt workflows, standard practices, and staffing models.
Parata’s product portfolio offers solutions for many clinical settings and covers the spectrum of volume throughput. This means our experienced and dynamic implementation team has been there and done that. While there are very basic logistical requirements for installation such as electrical and network, our team will walk you through the other strategic tasks you should consider. Our experts have boiled it down to three critical items.
Explain the Why
You invested many hours in the buying phase. Evaluating potential solutions and agonizing over all the details prior to deciding. Now is the time to pass along to your team your well thought out criteria for making the selection. They need to understand why the change is being made. Why was the solution selected the best one for your pharmacy? How will it benefit the business and more directly how will it benefit them?
Provide all the insight you can to get them comfortable with the impending change. Talk through the implementation process and brainstorm what challenges you may encounter. Collaborate on ways to mitigate those potential challenges. These things will help everyone feel like they are part of the process and increase long-term buy-in.
Ex: If you have purchased an adherence packaging solution, spend the time explaining how it will enable your patients to have better outcomes and lead healthier lives. Also provide an understanding of how more adherent patients will have an impact on the business. Don’t make the mistake of assuming everyone will reach the same conclusions you have reached. Remove all doubt and have the conversations well in advance of the installation.
Set Goals & Keep Score
How will you measure the success of the new system? Take the time in the pre-implementation stage to identify the goal(s) you hope to achieve. Next, ensure you have the means to measure the progress towards the goal. This may be easy or may take some work which is why it’s critical to do this work ahead of the installation. Socialize the goal(s) with your staff spending the time required to verify understanding and alignment. Finally, create an easily accessible dashboard for continuous progress tracking. The dashboard could an automated thing displayed on a monitor or as simple as markers and a whiteboard. The important thing is everyone knows where to find it and how to read it.
Ex: If implementing a Max robot, a common goal is to have 60% of all prescriptions processed in the pharmacy filled by Max. Consider the leading actions your staff needs to take to enable meeting the goal and measure those. Here you should also track consumable re-stocking (pills, vials, caps, labels) to ensure the Max is always available to fill scripts.
Lead From the Front
When the time finally comes for your installation, you and any other key stakeholders need to be actively engaged. There will be several critical decision points, issues, questions, etc. which arise in the first two weeks of the installation and go live process. Make a plan to be available for escalations and take part where appropriate. Your team needs to see your commitment and the support of the change. Being present will inspire confidence and provide a sense of calm to the team.
Ex: Keeping open lines of communication is a critical part of the installation process. Plan for once or even twice daily “stand up” style meetings with leaders. These meetings should be in person, in the pharmacy (when possible) and last no longer than 15 minutes. Focus should be on communicating status, plans for the day, and issue escalations.
Ready, Set, GO!
If any of these things seemed obvious to you, great! You’re ahead of the game. However, they are far too often overlooked, assumed, and/or not given the proper priority. It’s imperative you take the appropriate time to plan for implementing a major change to your pharmacy operations and respect the impact it will have on your staff. Do at least these three key tasks and you’ll be well on the way to achieving your envisioned success. For everything else lean on your partners on the Parata team.
About Brad Slater
Beginning his pharmacy automation career path in 2003, Brad is now a Program Manager for Parata Systems and proves to be a team leader who helps to deliver pharmacy automation solutions to customers. With a background in the U.S. Air Force, he has troubleshooting skills and experience maintaining advanced electronic systems that earned him the Professional Maintainer of the Year award in 2000. The collection of roles Brad has served over the years has allowed him to develop a passion for connecting with others.