Leading Through Regulatory Change

The clock is counting down to regulatory change. Today, transformative change is sweeping through our industry, leaving us breathless on a daily basis. The changes, including, new regulations, survey processes, reimbursement, new ways to utilize organization data to determine your facility value in the new marketplace and the completion of the Facility Assessment, stretch our leadership skills and organization resources as we prepare for all that is now upon us.

I often ask myself, how can we positively embrace the changes and not become paralyzed? During times of changes and turbulence, I remind myself of the following words,

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” ~Peter Drucker

There are times that I ignore this keen insight when change seems overwhelming, seeming to become reliant on my experience, past ideas and solutions, finding myself working harder and longer hours to try to beat the inevitable changes in front of me. When I find myself stressed or feeling overwhelmed with all the changes, I remind myself to “act with yesterday’s logic.” This allows me to process the numerous changes, gain further insight and knowledge of the changes, prioritize what is needed and embrace collaborative action with my team, working together for successful outcomes.

I recommend following the below leadership strategy, to assist you in guiding your team through change:


• First take a deep breath and know that your team has skills and talents that have gone untapped!
• Collaborate – The changes require staff at all levels. Gather your key team members!
• As a team, enhance your knowledge and understanding of the changes (regulatory, reimbursement, quality measurement).
• Pull together with your team, what requires attention and what needs to be completed.
• Compile a concise list of the changes, don’t worry about how many items there are or the number of items, using a similar tool as below:


• Review the list with the team and ask: what is immediate (could have a serious and immediate negative impact) and what is important (needs to be accomplished, however there are possibly a few more days to complete some of the tasks).
• Determine if any of the tasks listed are inter-related or have inter-dependencies.
• Determine the impact on the organization. Look at the immediate and important tasks and prioritize the list (High, Medium, Low) with your team.
• Assess the current status of the listed priority items to determine the actions needed to align with the change requirements. Often times the current system or policy needs a slight revision and can be accomplished with minimal actions needed.
• Determine top priorities with your team. Remember during change, many leaders believe everything is a priority, which is not realistic. Through an organized process, you and your team, including staff at all levels, can achieve successful results related to all of the changes. The goal is to combine like priorities and reduce the overall number of initiatives, making the list manageable for the whole team.


• Assess organization current status as it relates to the specific change needs.
• Determine the actions needed to revise current processes, training, potential competency testing as well as monitoring of implementation outcomes, identifying improvement opportunities.
• Assign priority leads for each priority area agreed upon.
• Create an overall education plan to include related to the priorities, engaging staff at all levels. The more your team collaborates, the more engaged your staff will become.
• Communicate! Leading through change requires an increased level of communication to all layers of the organization. Why are things changing? How are we going to get there? What is my role?
• Present your vision for change and the transformation needed.


• Monitor outcomes and integrate into the facility QAPI process.
• Determine areas requiring modification or improvement.
• Communicate outcomes with your team and key stakeholders, as applicable.
• Don’t forget to celebrate successes with your entire team.

While it is in our nature to quickly react to change as priorities continue to increase, we need to remember to “pause” in order to truly align those priorities for change, see multiple options for growth and foster innovation and collaboration to succeed in the new market place.

So…stop, take a breath, reflect, review, analyze, collaborate and innovate!

Lisa Thomson
Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer,
Pathway Health