Project leader Dian Webbink on adopting a new core healthcare application

How do you train new users and drive adoption despite tight deadlines and budget cuts?

We sat down with project leader Dian Webbink who recounts her team’s journey toward successfully implementing a new system in a hospital. We talked about the obstacles they faced, what goes into a solid business case, and tactics for successful system implementation.

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Read our 4 key takeaways from the conversation

1) Pay attention to return on value

Return on investment is key to get funding. However, don’t forget the soft benefits. Return on value matters. In this case, the board members of the hospital put user satisfaction as a top priority. They were concerned with how happy they were with the e-learning and on-the-job support. This was assessed by collecting employee feedback:

  • Are you happy with the training?
  • Is the new training method more effective than the old one?
  • How was experiencing the workflow directly with interactive simulations?
  • What are your learning preferences?
  • Are you able to perform tasks fast enough?

2) Proof of concepts are critical 

Before deciding to fully commit to full-scale implementation, develop a proof of concept. Can the new system work in your environment? Can it work in your ICT architecture? No implementation happens without a hitch. This will help identify potential challenges beforehand.

3) Think before you decide

Before starting a project, think deeply about what problems you are trying to solve. Organizations can sometimes be overly enthusiastic about innovation. Decisions and investments are committed to what seemed like great solutions. When looking back, organizations realize too late that staff never needed the solution in the first place.

4) Involve IT at every step

From the very first second of the project, involve IT. When facing technical problems, you’ll be extremely grateful that they were involved early and at every step. Plus, by making them an integral part of the decision-making process – they feel empowered and will fully support and advocate for your project.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation.


Old school vs impactful learning 

Chris: What were the problems that needed to be addressed during the project?

Dian: The implementation had very strict timelines. And learning strategies that the EHR provider wanted us to use were old fashioned and expensive. It involved training thousands of staff members, mostly in classrooms. We decided on something different.

“We looked for a solution based on that 70/20/10 model of Charles Jennings and the importance of learning in the flow.”

On creating a business case

Chris: Did you build a business case? What did it contain? And how did you get it approved in your organization?

Dian: Yes, the project needed a business case. I had to write about motivations. Why we needed different learning methods. What were the problems we wanted to solve? What were the complaints? And how we were thinking to solve all these problems. How do we get the return on investment?

“The Board members were actually more interested in return on value. So the happiness of the staff trumped the return on investment.”

In the business case, we cut down the classroom training in half – which would save a lot of time and also money. And even more important, cutting down the time by half means that doctors and nurses can spend more time with patients.

On the importance of creating a network 

Chris: What initiative did you undertake outside your organization?Dian: Together with a colleague from another hospital who was also using Assima, we set up a user group. Every three months, we met to learn from each other. We also asked Assima to join these meetings. This helped improve together. IT was also on board. Other hospitals and organizations could ask us for help with their IT questions.

For more information on this user group, contact our Client Partner Chris van Amstel.

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