Organizational Change Plan-Part One The use of mobile technology for health care professionals, including personal digital assistants (PDAs) has increased exponentially in both clinical practice and nursing education (Farrell & Rose, 2008). Some evidence exists that the use of a PDA in health care settings may improve decision-making, reduce the numbers of medical errors, and enhance learning for both students and professionals (Nilsson, 2008); for these reasons, the Learning Technology Committee (LTC) at Sinclair Community College (SCC) explored the benefits of nursing students using the PDA at the bedside in the clinical setting.The committee proposed a change, Project PDA, to implement the use of PDA among novice nursing students and faculty.
The following paragraphs will focus on the assessment and plan of the Project PDA; and examine the rationale for the change, barriers to change, influences on change, application of a theoretical model and resources available to support the change initiative. Rationale for Change Healthcare is a dynamic and evolving field of knowledge. Nursing students are trying to learn and implement this large amount of information at a rapid pace.Nursing students are generally unsure of their skills, feel insecure about their knowledge level, and lack self-confidence (Fisher & Koren, 2007). Many advantages have been seen with the use of the PDA, such as time savings, reduction of errors, and ease of use (Miller, Shaw-Kokot, Arnold, Boggin, Crowell, Allegri, Blue, & Berrier, 2005). Through the use of the PDA, it is thought, the nursing student will have reduced stress, fear, and improved self-confidence (Martin, 2007). Students will benefit from gaining immediate access to resources at the point of care, become more efficient, and spend more time focusing on patient care.PDAs will provide a bridge for students to apply theoretical learning to practice and foster the development of critical reasoning skills and professional autonomy. Nurse educators will need to develop creatively new, innovative models of teaching to keep up with changing society and technological advances in nursing practice (Jeffries, 2005). Adopting this new technological process will ensure SCC is keeping up with the trends of technology in nursing education. Organizational and Individual Barriers to Change Organizational change is a complicated process and is likely to be met with resistance.According to Borkowski (2005), resistance may originate from two sources: organizational barriers and individual barriers. These barriers threaten to impede change success. In an effort to avoid change failure, management must identify and understand potential barriers to change. Organizational barriers are typically beyond the control of management and may be perceived as insurmountable, which in the early stages of change can prove to be futile (Borkowski, 2005). Two potential organizational barriers to implementing Project PDA are cultural complacency; and the lack of financial and technology resources.The first barrier was cultural complacency. Spector (2010) suggests that organizational culture may enable and create barriers to change. The nursing department has functioned like a well oiled machine as result of shared values and beliefs among faculty and students; subsequently creating a complacent atmosphere. Management must change the culture of the nursing department to engage faculty and students; and promote behaviors in line with the proposed change. The second barrier was the lack of financial and technology resources.The college was in the midst of a new levy campaign and there were no current funds allocated in the nursing department budget for technology improvements including the purchase of equipment. The college does not own PDAs for the students or faculty to use. No process was in place for technical support if students were to experience challenges with the device. The individual barriers identified included lack of motivation, staff support, and computer competency. Faculty and students may lack motivation if they perceive the change will disrupt the status quo, or the preference for the current situation (Borkowski, 2005).The lack of support and acceptance of the new technology by other clinical staff and faculty is one of the key challenges of implementing new technology into educational programs (Farrell & Rose, 2008). Some students and faculty are computer literate, but many are less familiar and lack experience with computer systems. As a result, it will take time for students, faculty, and clinical staff to become comfortable with using the PDA. Factors of Influence The college’s readiness to change could lead to success or failure.The change itself is not the reason, but the organization’s culture of environment and the employees respect, trust, and attitude toward the management implementing the change (Krause, 2008). The attitudes of faculty and students may directly affect how responsive and committed they will be to the change process. The factors of influence within any organization may originate or draw in part on the quality of leadership (Krause, 2008). The leaders must implement strategies to communicate the value of the change, establish a coalition, and empower all participants to become change agents.Theoretical Model Kurt Lewin’s change theory was the theoretical framework selected for analyzing the change process involved in adopting the use of PDAs in the clinical setting as planned in Project PDA. Lewin’s change theory identified three stages in the change process-unfreeze, move, and refreeze. To unfreeze leaders must create a sense of disequilibrium to motivate change. A pre-pilot survey completed by the LTC revealed students and faculty believed time management was the priority challenge for students in the clinical setting.PDA use is expected to improve time management skills. In stage two, change is implemented. Students and faculty will be required to use the PDA during clinical for access required textbooks and other resources. The final stage, refreeze, the change is cemented into the organization’s culture (Spector, 2010). The LTC will evaluate the change process, communicate progress, maintain support structures, reinforce required behaviors and encourage continued commitment to sustain the change. Internal and External ResourcesBorkowski (2005) noted managers must be certain adequate resources are available to implement change and ensure organizational goals are met. The nursing department at SCC is fortunate to have access to internal and external resources needed to support efforts to implement Project PDA. A strong organizational structure facilitates collaboration within the department. Webinars will be used for faculty and student development. The nursing department secured grant funding to purchase 16 i-Touch devices for faculty. Students will use financial aid to purchase the PDA and software undle. E-book resources will be made available through contracted publishing vendors. Learning and troubleshooting tutorials will be included with the software as well as the Sinclair Help Desk will be available for technical support. Information technology has integrated in the health care delivery systems to include the use of personal digital assistants (PDA) and other computer devices (Fisher & Koren, 2007). Teaching institutions are being challenged to keep up with the trends in technology and meet demands for use of hand held devices.In response to this challenge, SCC proposed to implement Project PDA. Students and faculty will begin using PDAs in the clinical setting. The use of these devices will provide real-time access to important resources enabling medical personnel and students to manage point of care activities more efficiently (Lee, 2006). As a result, students will be less stressed, more confident, and more competent health care providers. Change may be complicated by organizational or individual barriers.The specific barriers were identified as cultural complacency, lack of financial and technology resources, employee motivation, staff support, and computer competency. Organizational change in the nursing department at SCC could be influenced by the nursing department’s readiness for change; and the attitudes of faculty, students, and clinical staff toward the change. The Kurt Lewin change theory was applied to Project PDA examining the three stages of the change process. Leaders at SCC have access to internal and external resources necessary to implement the proposed change.The presence of a solid organizational structure, access to grant funding, technology resource vendors, and on-site technical support will facilitate the success and sustainability of Project PDA.