Any type of transaction - a merger or acquisition, for example - is going to have a large impact on a hospital, specifically due to potential cultural or operational shifts that could occur. A recent article in Becker's Hospital Review suggested a few key factors to keep in mind to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly for everyone involved.

For hospital CIOs and managers, one of the top priorities should be to listen to the staff and allow them to have a mourning period. For example, when hospitals merge, there are bound to be a slew of emotions among workers, and it is necessary to create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing those feelings.

Virginia Tyler, vice president of a healthcare consulting firm, said that executives need to ensure that their organization and communities are prepared for any potential fallout.

"Above all, do not expect that staff will 'just get over it' without your help," Tyler said in the article. "They may be struggling to adapt. Have a plan, take it slowly, be consistent and reward success."

In addition, a recent survey by Towers Watson found that 72 percent of successful acquirers determine which employees are asked to sign retention agreements, either during the due diligence stage or during the transaction negotiations. It's important to establish as early as possible how the details will play out. 

Determining which employees to keep is not an easy process, but there are ways to determine which individuals have the required skill set to thrive within an organization and, in addition, push the company forward as a whole.

As previously mentioned in this blog, the healthcare industry is relying more and more on information technology, and will need to ensure that employees are adept at operating current programs. Having HR representatives use a computer skills assessment test can determine which workers can best adhere to changing technological needs. 

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