Perspectives

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 50-55

Are You Ready? How Health Professionals Can Comprehensively Conceptualize Readiness for Change

  • Daniel T. HoltAffiliated withDepartment of Systems and Engineering Management, Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT/ENV Email author 
  • , Christian D. HelfrichAffiliated withIschemic Heart Disease QUERI, VA Puget Sound Health Care System
  • , Carmen G. HallAffiliated withPolytrauma and Blast-Related Injuries-QUERI, VA Minneapolis Health Care System
  • , Bryan J. WeinerAffiliated withUniversity of North Carolina

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Abstract

One important factor influencing the successful implementation of system-wide change is initial readiness. Readiness is defined as the degree to which those involved are individually and collectively primed, motivated, and technically capable of executing the change. We present a conceptual framework that highlights three broad areas to be considered if health-care professionals are to comprehensively evaluate readiness that includes psychological factors (i.e., characteristics of those being asked to change), structural factors (i.e., circumstances under which the change is occurring) as well as the level of analysis (i.e., individual and organizational levels). We also describe more specific dimensions within each of these broad categories that have both empirical and theoretical support, presenting several valid and reliable survey instruments that measure key dimensions of readiness quantitatively.

KEY WORDS

organizational change change readiness measuring readiness for change implementation