Change Management in Emergency Department: Implementation of Mobile Communication Device at the IWK Health Centre Halifax – Streamlining Emergency Care Using Technology Project
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This report is required for the completion of the Masters in Health Informatics Degree program at Dalhousie University. It discusses an internship undertaken at the Izzak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK) in Halifax. The Streamlining of Emergency Care Using Technology (SECT) project under the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness involves plans to improve emergency care using technology. These include the implementation of Tablet PCs in the emergency departments of hospitals in the province. This report deals with the change management process that was undertaken at the IWK Health Center’s emergency department under part of the SECT project that deals with implementing Tablet PCs. As part of the change management process, the internship was directed towards physician exposure and training to use Tablet PCs in an emergency care setting. It also sought to understand the challenges emergency physicians faced using the device, and provide solutions for those challenges. The main objective of this project was to develop a solution to answer the information needs of emergency physicians who would use it to access patient health information anytime, anywhere within the department. Apple® iPads® were initially selected; however, they did not meet physician expectation. As a result, tablets based on the Android® operating system (Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1®) were subsequently tested and successfully deployed for use. Change management forms part of an implementation strategy and is a very crucial component of healthcare IT project management. The success of informatics projects within a healthcare setting depends on how effectively the change management process is undertaken by the organization. Healthcare organizations are still not very cognizant of this fact. Increased investments on change management initiatives by healthcare organizations would go a long way in successful implementation and adoption of new technologies.