Set a Timeline (with Deadlines!)
Time, and timing, and money, oh my!
So, you have a team, with stakeholders from many of the affected parts of your organization. You’ve brought them up to speed and they are sold (if perhaps a little tentatively). What do they do first? Ah… timelines and money.
- How much financial support is there, if any?
- What’s your timeframe for getting things done?
Secure time (and money) to meet, educate about & pilot SBIRT
Based on our experience at Indiana University and Wishard Hospital, we anticipate that it will take about 6 months to establish SBIRT in a reasonably busy internal medicine practice. This estimate is based on our experiences training residents in SBIRT and also introducing SBIRT in a free standing community health center. The latter occurred after the experience of implementing SBIRT in a resident teaching clinic with the support of behavioral health specialists paid for by a grant and with additional grant-supported infrastructure for tracking and training. This well-supported implementation was achieved in about 4 months. This is probably the shortest time in which this could be accomplished in such a context; however, more agile organizations and smaller systems make be able to kick off rapidly in a few weeks and implement iteratively, so your mileage is likely to vary considerably!
Set key dates with milestones
It will help you to set milestones at the beginning (your choice: simple calendar, Gantt chart, whatever works- spreadsheets make this simple). It will help to be rather granular in your milestones, because it is easy to miss a big goal if you aren’t making progress with the small stuff. Throughout our planning and implementation phases, we met every two weeks for an hour to keep people on track, encourage each other, and learn where additional support was needed from the larger institution.