Essay on Change Management in Healthcare

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Wesleyan University
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I wish to submit the article on change management in healthcare in your journal Healthcare Executive. I have carried an extensive research on change management process and especially Lewins Three Phase Model of change which seeks to improve the management of change in healthcare. The Lewins Three Phase Model ensures smooth and evidence based transition during change and helps the management to resolve any key issues and challenges that might occur in the process.

This article is best suited in your online publication because it encourages effective management of change to promote better healthcare management. Many healthcare executives are keen to manage change in modern healthcare environment especially with the growing adoption of technology to ensure better organization results.

Lewins Three Phase Model of Change article is my original work and it has not been published in any publication before and the article presents not conflict of interest.

Yours sincerely


Lewins Three Phase Model Change in Health Care






Lewins Three Phase Model of Change Management

Change management is a universal aspect present in many business organizations today despite their size, industrial activities, and age. Dynamic setting calls for regular changes in business organization, for one to be successful in the current challenging business environment it is essential for an organization to weigh up the need for instigating the changes regularly. However, along with the challenges for change, significant questions concerning ethical principles in change management should be acknowledged and dealt by those who instigate and execute the changes. Who said organizational change has to be a complex process. A man by the name Kurt Lewin managed to do it in just three steps. This article will describe organizational change in healthcare in three stages according to Lewin. The three step process includes unfreezing, changing/moving and then freezing CITATION Ali04 \l 1033 (Kritsonis, 2004).

Ethical changes are usually the missing constituent in many change management models; this is because during the process of change these standards call for sacrifice from both the corporate managers and employees. Each business organization is striving to move forward by implementing an ethical management system which will boost the strengthens as well as the potential of its operations thus enhancing its competence. Any business organization is supposed to deal with unanticipated business situations. Organizations needs to be more flexible in adopting different business changes to remain competitive in the international market. Besides change can also be productive in a way; it can make complex situations incredibly simple and also help to advance business activities through implementation of new ethical innovations CITATION Mar03 \l 1033 (Bozak, 2003).

Change Model According to LewinThe change model developed my Kurt Lewin involved three steps namely: unfreezing, changing/moving and refreezing. This model represents a simple and very practical model that will help us understand the change process. According to Lewin the whole process of change should entail, the creating of a perception that change is required, then stepping towards that new desired level of behavior and lastly making that new behavior the norm. This model is used widely as the very basis of many models for modern change (Cummings, Bridgman, & Brown, 2016).

Health care organizations prefer to use Kurt Lewin theory so as to better understand the human behavior and how it relates to change and the common patterns relating to resistance to change. The main purpose of this model is to come up with factors that can be an impediment to the change process. These forces opposing change often called static forces and the forces necessary to drive or promote change also known as driving forces. If a health care organization can fully comprehend the behaviors that oppose or drive change, they will then be able to focus and strengthen positive driving forces so as to allow change to successfully occur CITATION Mar03 \l 1033 (Bozak, 2003).

Lewins Unfreezing Stage

In this step an organization must first understand the difficulties that relate to the problem that has been identified and the type of strategy to be developed to give strength to the driving forces and at the same time reducing and weakening the restraining forces. Unfreezing will involve identifying the key players mostly affected by the change, then gathering all of them together. This will allow communication of ideas and creating of lists of all the static and driving forces that will most likely affect the project. By including the front line staff in the planning groups and the key decision processes, the organization will be able promote an empowerment feeling among staff that will reduce their level of resistance to the changes and will show them how the patients will benefit if the project is successful (Burnes, 2004).

Moving/Changing Stage

This stage will represent the period of the actual change, which will include the planning and implementing stages of this project. For example, a health care organization that plans to implement bar coding technology across its facility will definitely require sustained effort from all the teams, which may include; Pharmacy, information technology (IT), clinical information services(CIS), program managers, administrators, nursing, clinical nurse educators. Due to the magnitude of this project, all the above departments will be affected in different ways. This makes planning of an effective rollout plan that includes and assists all the stakeholders very important. Bozak (2003) highly recommended the involvement of the nursing staff so as to foster a feeling of ownership of the projects success. This stage also requires a project leader who will oversee and monitor the project due to its magnitude, through all its phases. Some of the areas to consider at the facility are reliability of the equipment, effects on workflow, educational training needs, implementation timelines, organizational leadership and culture CITATION Spe12 \l 1033 (Spetz, Burgess, & Phibbs, 2012).

Refreezing Stage

This is the final stage of Lewins theory, this process of the freezing and refreezing of the changed practice mostly occurs and leads to a time of evaluation and stability CITATION Mar03 \l 1033 (Bozak, 2003). There should be technology support to all the stakeholders, and all nurses on the frontline should get the required support until all the changes are deemed complete and all the users become familiar with the technology. Once the project is complete and operational, the following should be done; analyze and summarize all the problems encountered, the success realized, and the challenges that were encountered during the project implementation, this will serve as a future reference.

In conclusion, any health care organization with a project of huge magnitude, will find it imperative to have complete plans in place so as to achieve success. When Lewins change model is used to guide the implementation of any technological change in the health care organization, for example barcoding technology, it helps promote acceptance by the frontline nurses, simply by involving them in all the aspects of planning and the implementation process. The achievement of the innovative changes in any corporate organization cannot be adequately be predicted as it entirely relies on the mindset of various business establishment. Ethical risks of change management should be dealt with so as to improve the managerial development of different corporate. Change management is only useful if it improves companies' competitiveness in the market and also brings success to the organization. By using brainstorming round table discussions, so as to identify the forces driving and restricting the project as a first step in the process. By addressing the restraining forces, there is an ensured smooth implementation that leads to a reduction in medical errors. Using Lewins change model will assist reduce the stakeholders fear of change and resistance by developing a good plan and using active participation throughout the change process.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Bozak, M. G. (2003). Using Lewin's Force Field Analysis in Implementing a Nursing Information System. CIN:Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 80-85.

Burnes, B. (2004). Kurt Lewin and the planned approach to change: a reappraisal. Journal of Management studies, 41(6), 977-1002.

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewins legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), 33-60.


Spetz, J., Burgess, J., & Phibbs, C. (2012). What determines successful implementation of inpatient information technology systems? . The American Journal of Managed Care, 157-162.

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