Implementation of a new quality management system is not as simple as sticking an SOP manual on the shelf, and away you go! You need to train staff, perhaps purchase new equipment or software, implement new processes and change your practice in one way or another! A lot of people hate change, so working through something as big as implementing your quality system can be hard. I was chatting with a client the other day about prepping her team for the impending changes. The project at hand was not complex or fundamentally changing everything they do, but the concept of change is scary and scared people don’t jump on board! So if you’re thinking of implementing or have started implementing some changes to your compounding practice, here are some key things to consider when helping your team through.

Be the change champion!

As the proprietor or senior manager you need to lead by example and be a change champion encouraging your team. The change champion is an advocate for the change and they understand the vision of the change and the benefits it brings to the team. You need to be able to effectively communicate the change and support your team so that the change isn't so daunting. After all, if the owner of the business isn’t onboard or excited about a change, why should anyone else be?

Let your team know what is happening and WHY

There are lots of moving parts in any project, especially implementing a quality system. It touches everything you do! The staff working front of shop, or the lab technician who works 2 days per week may not be part of the direct team facilitating the changes, but they are still effected. Communicating to your staff what changes are being made and why they are being made, is important. It gives your team a sense of stability knowing what is going on, but also facilitates collaboration and you might be surprised who puts their hand up with valuable insight into how the change effects daily operations.

On this point, it is also important to highlight to the team that their help and input is valuable. You can create a beautiful quality system in a sterile imaginary world, but real compounding practice includes interactions with personalities, time and resource restrictions and other hurdles. The people who are working in the pharmacy every day have the best experience and knowledge to add a bit of reality to your plan.

Support your team

Simply telling people that they need to do something differently isn't going lead to sustainable change. Even changes with great potential can fail if the team isn't supported. This support can be initial staff training, regular team meetings to review the changes made and how it has effected each member of the team, access to a help desk or technical support person, or as simple as actively addressing concerns raised by your team.

Change management is a whole sector unto itself. These are a couple of simple steps that you can implement today and help your team not only get through changes, but thrive through them! If you have any questions about implementing your own quality management system for compounding, book a free 30-minute consultation with Verify to discuss your needs.

Inspired by "Improving Quality outcomes through Change Management" Webinar with Australian Organisation for Quality - 13th July, 2021

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