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19 December 2022

Navigating barriers to change in medical organisations – a workshop by Q5


This blog post was written by Q5, a global award-winning consultancy specialising in organisational health.

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to support Hippo and Leeds Digital Festival through our Q5 workshop at the MedTech Showcase event.

The overarching theme was around understanding why individuals and organisations resist change to differing degrees and looking specifically through a MedTech lens, how best to navigate these often-unseen barriers and ensure MedTech is successfully adopted by organisations.

We looked at some of the cultural and human barriers to new technology adoption and why sometimes change is difficult for individuals and teams. We discussed three case studies where Q5 had successfully navigated barriers and shared our approaches and what was learned. Through breakout sessions, our attendees debated and contributed their own experiences and also some of the current challenges they are facing. Building on Q5’s approach, through lively debate, everyone contributed their ideas and top tips for success.

The first case study focussed on challenges associated with migrating from legacy systems. The discussion centred around:

  • Improving processes and data flows before implementing new systems.
  • The need for collaboration between different groups and the trust required to improve the status quo.
  • The importance of creating the space to improve things through developing a culture of experimentation.

Driving change across different stakeholder groups in a complex health system was the topic of the second case study. Some of the themes we identified were:

  • Tolerance for risk varies massively across the health sector, with private organisations being able to take on risks and innovate more readily
  • The time, cost, and complexity of driving change at the national level mean that more innovation happens at the local level, but this drives duplication and siloes longer-term.
  • One of the easiest ways to incentivise and embed change in healthcare is through change champions, particularly because health is an expert-led culture and it’s easier to influence new groups.

Finally, the third case study explored the role of Leadership in introducing change and new tech and unleashing the energy and capability of teams to drive performance:

  • The importance of ‘taking work out’ – eliminating non-value-adding activities, clearing the way for new tools and tech – this was seen as a key point, creating the space in people’s heads and lives for new technology. Endings before beginnings!
  • The importance of getting teams to ‘own’ new changes and technology – rather than them being forced on them from above, creating the understanding of the need for change amongst the teams who will be users.

To be part of such an important event, supporting cutting-edge organisations with some of their knotty problems and working with Hippo was a real privilege.  We’d love to support again in the future on any aspect of organisational health.