Sometimes what seems like really small and simple changes can make a huge impact. The type of changes that team members ask “how did we ever work in the old way?” A great example I have seen again and again in healthcare is the lack of teams being “co-located.” The traditional ambulatory model has the “flow staff” located centrally surrounded by the exam rooms and the Providers located along the parameter in their offices. Flow is designed so that while the Provider is seeing one patient the flow staff is “rooming” the next. Thus, often based on the building design their paths rarely cross. I think somehow we thought with the implementation of an EMR teams no longer had to
As a result of this design all kinds of waste is built into the process. The opportunities to prioritize together, problem solve, ask for help, and relay important information, etc. are lost. Flow staff and Provider waste
incredible amounts of time looking for each other and patients are often left
repeating themselves multiple times, waiting, or not having their needs
Back to small changes that make a huge difference. I am working with a client that is working on synchronizing the process between the flow staff and the Providers and one of the elements of the change is “co-location.” The MD’s have moved out of their offices and into the “flow area.” The team has 5S’d and worked (through a lot of challenges) to reconfigure the space and to make room.
It is early in the change, but teams are feeling an immediate difference
and so will soon the patients. It is easy to see the improved efficiency and to feel a growing sense of “team.” Small changes = Big Difference!
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