Smoothing the MSP Change Management Process
A conversation with AMN Healthcare’s Implementation Director
We are the industry leader in providing healthcare systems with Managed Services Programs (MSP) that handle the entire recruitment acquisition and development lifecycle, optimizing their core and contingent talent to increase efficiency and reduce costs. As every healthcare system is unique, our implementation process adapts to meet the needs of individual organizations.
A question that often comes up when we talk with the leaders of healthcare organizations is how difficult or involved will the implementation process be? How will change management be handled? This is where our Implementation team becomes involved, stepping in as our Solution Design process concludes.
We recently sat down with Amanda Valentino, Senior Director of Implementation, and she shared the innerworkings of the Solution Design and Implementation process, and why it leads to a better program for our clients.
Ms. Valentino started out by providing some context, saying, “When I think about implementation it’s consultative. We’re learning about the client, we’re learning about their culture, their aptitude for change, the problem they’re trying to solve for. That’s done in a very consultative way so that they are also part of that solution.”
Starting with Solution Design
Solution Design is a guided and collaborative process that helps healthcare systems plan and navigate their journey to a fully optimized strategic talent program. Ms. Valentino explains, “The first major milestone of our methodology is facilitating a Solution Design Workshop. It’s an opportunity for us to come in and educate the client team about what the program is, the value it provides, and start mapping out what the next eighty days will look like through implementation.”
“We like to open up the Workshop by having the executive sponsor of the healthcare system share why they chose AMN Healthcare and the value that we’re going to bring to their organization. This helps build trust out of the gate… having that sponsor kick us off and help us with buy-in is a first step to thinking about good change management. We want to make sure everybody knows up front why they’re there and what we are providing.”
Any number of client team members can join the workshops: Ms. Valentino has seen from five to forty. “What we want is to have the team understand each of the components of our Managed Services talent acquisition process - supplier engagement and management, quality assurance and compliance, and centralized process administration - and where they are experiencing pain points today,” she said. “We also want to identify where things are really optimized and working well…there are post-It notes everywhere”.
For a step-by-step breakdown of the Solution Design process, please read 6 Steps to Talent Planning with Solution Design.
The Impact of the Solution Design Workshop
Ms. Valentino continued, “What’s fascinating is that while this exercise is taking place, we (the implementation team) are in the room and taking notes, we’re aligning and starting to analyze where we’re seeing trends and themes. If you have ten people with the same challenge, it’s probably worth taking a closer look versus something that may be emotion based. By listening, we’re documenting current state processes without having to say, ‘Hey, sit down and tell me about how you do things today’.”
“The other thing the workshop does is build consensus. You’ve got the organization coalescing around their pain points and even prioritizing them. Where are the challenges most acute? Is that pain felt across the different stakeholder groups? They feel it in talent acquisition and that has a downstream impact to time capture and invoicing and accuracy. There’s a lot of ‘ah-ha’s’ and lessons learned about their own internal workflow.”
Ms. Valentino described an example of the Workshop’s impact: “I’ll never forget it. We’re sitting in a room around a U-shaped table, and we were talking about invoice approvals. The CNO, the finance director and the staffing office person were in the room. Several individuals were talking about how they had to literally walk around the facility with a stack of invoices, going from one level of approval to the next. The finance director said, ‘Starting tomorrow, I am no longer approving invoices because I had no idea they were already approved three times.’”
“So that’s a great example of getting folks in a room who probably don’t get in the room very often together. Those I always leave with a big smile on my face where I feel like mentally it’s a ‘drop the mic’ moment. We haven’t yet done the actual implementation and we’ve already provided value.”
One of the most common questions asked during this process is about workforce transition. Ms. Valentino gave examples of the inquiries: “What happens if my nurse works for a supplier that doesn’t sign on? What happens if I can’t backfill? Just all the ‘ifs’.”
“We address everything around continuity of care and ensuring that patients aren’t feeling the change of the new program when it comes to actual nurses at the bedside. We like to focus on our methodology around workforce transition and how we leverage client data through the implementation to analyze where their workforce is today - what their start and end dates are, the suppliers that they’re working with - to ensure that we don’t have any large gaps come transition time.”
“The workforce transition itself isn’t something that happens when you go live,” Ms. Valentino continued. “It starts when our client has verbally agreed to the new program. Even after the go-live date, we’re continuing to watch to ensure that if their suppliers have not signed on yet, for example, but they’re getting close, we may work with a program partner to implement extensions for the existing workforce so that we have a longer runway. Workforce transition really lives throughout the entire implementation.” concluded Ms. Valentino.
Client Customization and Completion
Healthcare systems are diverse in their size and in the needs of the communities they serve. The Organizational Change Management step in the implementation process is customized accordingly. Ms. Valentino explained that in this step, “We analyze and assess their readiness for change and the degree of change they’re willing to stomach.”
“If our client is new to Managed Services and there is major change management necessary, we talk to them about the last time they went through a similar change of this magnitude, what works for them culturally, and what works for their healthcare system in terms of managing the change. How can we best communicate with them; would they rather meet face-to-face or virtually? We try to morph or become a chameleon if you will… we want to do what works well for that organization versus bringing in our way. We try to leverage their best practices when it comes to change.”
After the future state workflow is determined, then comes the home stretch of implementation. The team conducts an Implementation Health Check to assess the overall processes and make any required modifications after those processes are validated. The team monitors the program weekly for reporting and to address any other identified needs. The implementation team continues to provide support through the operational transition to the Program Management Office (PMO) team, who provide ongoing, day-to-day oversight and is the source for contingent staffing needs.
Customization and Flexibility
Solution Design and Implementation are two of the ways we provide a completely customized Managed Services Program. We also offer the flexibility of client-managed or AMN Healthcare-managed options. Both are supplier funded and include program management, analytics, reporting, our Vendor Management technology, and help desk support.