In late summer/early fall 2009 HealthNet was in the process of planning a conversion from Paper medical records to electronic medical records (EMR) as well as implementing a new practice management system. This required an enormous amount of coordination between our IT staff, electronic medical record staff, and the practice management staff plus all of their supervisors.
It became abundantly apparent in a few short weeks that we were having major breakdowns in relationships between the involved departments along with the development of major turf battles for influence, decision-making, and work assignments. We, in HealthNet administration, became very concerned that all of our efforts to implement some very drastic changes could easily be derailed by this fractious, and increasingly hostile environment that was evolving between the staff we were depending on to make it happen for us.
We contracted with Chip Neidigh to assist us in assessing the situation and introducing strategies to improve the working relationships between individuals and departments. Following is what I consider to have been the really effective strategies that Chip used to turn our difficult situation around and get us going in the right direction:
1. He consulted with each individual involved to get their opinion of what was wrong. 2. He developed strategies for improvement that he consulted with senior management on and made changes based on our suggestions and knowledge of the situation. 3. He met with the entire group on as many occasions as needed to get past the hurts of the past and start focusing on a future of working together in a trustful environment. 4. Chip was always well prepared for our group meetings with a plan, but if the group started to take solution-oriented directions that were not in Chips plan he fluidly adapted to an exploration of where the staff suggestions were going. 5. He kept things on track and made sure we were productive and never let a meeting disintegrate. 6. Our meetings were always very productive and I never felt that we wasted any time.
This is certainly a very abbreviated description of the work that Chip did with our group, but the fact is that he helped us get to a point where our staff was able to work together in a professional manner and deal with their turf issues in a productive manner. Chip helped the group identify a process for making decisions, which was very much absent prior to his involvement. He has continued with us by providing coaching on an individual level as needed to help our staff continue to grow a more trusting relationship.
I highly recommend Chip’s services to any organization that is planning to go through a big and stressful change in business practice, or any organization who might be experiencing a breakdown in workplace relationships. I think he understands the impact(s) of stress produced by change better than anyone I have met. He is also very effective in creatively planning solutions that are staff-centered flexible.
Elvin Plank Chief Operating Officer HealthNet