Forget patient tracking or medical workflow, it’s change (anger) management in healthcare
The Electronic Whiteboard™
- Friday, 08 March 2013 10:46
- eWB Team
Welcome to executive coaching 101.'Did I miss something?' This was the first thing that jumped into my head when I first read the words 'executive coaching'
in healthcare? So I did did some research. Apparently, 'executive coaching'
is the term therapists who provide anger management counseling to hospital staff bill under. So this is why the term kept popping up all over our social media feeds.Now, I work in hospitals, I have some knowledge on where some of these frustrations may derive from, but like I said, I work in hospitals. What if I didn't? What if I were a patient in your health system and I read about the disgruntled medical staff at your facility? How am I to know any different? Your hospital slogan informs me you will, 'provide me with an exceptional healthcare experience'
yet your social media news feeds tell me otherwise. As a patient, I am now convinced that my suspicions have been proven and that Dr. XYZ really did scoff at me and disregard my questions during my last visit. Can you see the ripple taking form here?
The good news
Healthcare professionals have their patients best interest at heart, otherwise they would just go off and seek another profession. So why are so many healthcare professionals (doctors, mid-levels, nurses, RT's) headed towards executive coaching? I'm pointing my finger at the EGO. The old, 'kick the dog' theory
The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud
gave us the understanding that anxiety is a 'signal of danger or frustration' that people display when they become fearful, concerned or frustrated about something. Psychologist John Dollard
and a few Yale University
colleagues took Freud's anxiety work and developed a theory called anxiety relief. The Yale psychologists believed that when a person carried high anxiety levels they would experience what is called "anxiety relief" when displaying aggressive behavior. Classical Conditioning
Dollard and colleagues, state frustration causes aggression, but when the source of the frustration cannot be challenged, the aggression gets displaced onto an innocent target. Dog kick!Anxiety/frustration about workflow (Stimulus) + poor change management (second stimulus) = Aggression (response to stimulus)
It's not hard to see. Medical staff develop anxiety about change or lack thereof within their environment, this leads to staff becoming frustrated, causing aggression towards other staff members and patients. Enter 'executive coaching'
programs.A few days ago, Kaiser Health News
outlined a story where a veteran operating-room nurse with 30 years' experience walked into her supervisor's office and quit after a surgeon screamed at her (his usual reaction to unwelcome news)
when she told him that a routine count revealed that an instrument was missing. Hospital administrators shrugged off the episode, saying, "Well, that's the way he is."
It comes at no surprise as to why we have a shortage of qualified staff members matched with an angry patient demographic... Look at our environment. How can we change?Centralize Communication
Improve the working environment and you will improve attitudes. Healthcare systems need to a centralize communication. Give authorized staff members associated with your organization the ability to access needed information no matter where they are so they can stay updated on changing information. They don't have time to make 20 phone calls or send 'request for update'
emails. They don't want to show up to work early just to see what their schedule looks like. It is imperative clinical information be available to reach the hands of qualified medical staff members when they need it.Resource Management
No special trick here, resources need management in order to be utilized. Medical organizations need a flexible, easy-to-use and systematic way to look inside an individual area, room or staff members schedule and assign, or make a modification to a procedural event in real time, on the fly. The same management rules must apply on a global scale allowing for system wide management from one centralized location. Face it, healthcare is the last industry to adopt this process.Reporting
You can't win em' all, there is always one person who isn't going to be happy. By accomplishing the two actions above administrators will have the ability to see who or what isn't pulling their/its weight. Find the weak links, replace them with stronger ones. In the past you knew who/what were responsible for creating your bottlenecks but now you have documented proof. Addressing and replacing these 'gaps' in your workflow will boost staff morale, lower employee frustration/aggression and improve patient workflow.Make It Easy
No matter what system or logic you adopt, its requirements for staff interaction need to be minimal at best. You want to see something fail? Make it complex and labor intensive. Give your staff a tool they can interact with quickly to gain the information they need, when they need it.
The Electronic Whiteboard® brings beauty and strength to medical resource management.
- Friday, 14 September 2012 14:31
combines patient tracking, procedure scheduling, resource management and powerful reporting tools to give you a level of insight into your medical workflow that you never thought possible.
Go LEAN, Improve Quality and Streamline Workflow with the eWB™ Dashboard!
- Tuesday, 26 June 2012 16:49
empowers administrators with a dynamic decision making tool for quick and easy access to information. The dashboard displays analytics captured across the full spectrum of care, be it a single department, multiple floors, diverse areas of care or across remote facilities.
Each key metric allows for precision drill down of data to better understand the specific information which is summarized in the aggregate graphic charts.
By logging into a secure session from any web browser, administrators gain real time access to current and longitudinal information in easy to read formats such as:
- interactive pie charts
- bar graphs
- line charts
Check out more information on eWB™_Administrative_Dashboard
Going LEAN with The Electronic Whiteboard™
- Monday, 14 May 2012 20:14
- eWB Team
Create a culture of excellence in clinical workflow processes
by successfully improving communication, resource utilization
and procedure tracking
thus providing quality data for accurate strategic and operational planning.Introduction:
As pressure continues to rise for healthcare providers and health systems to reduce operational costs and improve quality data
, an ever growing number of organizations find themselves investigating techniques and technologies as a solution for a “Lean” performance improvement initiative. The issue seems to manifest when their current technology vendor throws their ‘all-in-one’ solution at the problem. Now the conversation has taken place, the trusted word of your vender has been given, you will be provided with the “solution”
then the expected happens, nothing. Workflow and resource management now become the taboo topics your lab directors, managers and clinicians flee from during performance improvement meetings because in the end they have the technology but still lack finite data. Why? Generalized technology is not the solution! Focusing effort on reducing wasteful activity by centralizing communication, streamlining and standardizing workflow rules and processes, tracking activity by status, location and resource is. After all activity is not productivity!Objective:
By focusing efforts on reducing wasteful activities, healthcare organizations can more efficiently attain organizational objectives by:Eliminating Excessive Motion
I said it once, I’ll say it again, activity is not productivity! Automation is great; just remember it’s easier to automate bad habits and processes than facilitating, dun, dun, dun CHANGE!! So what can we do? We become the end user, the patient, the life we pledged to save. Understanding we have an issue and finding a solution provider is the easiest part, finding where and why these habits have developed is the source of our investigation.Periodically poll members of you organization, understand their workflow, their individual processes, in doing so we can determine if additional or different workflow techniques can be employed to encourage commitment to the ultimate success of your technology. We often discover an ‘Interface
’ isn’t going to solve the issue, however, understanding the level of accessibility staff members have to clinical information can allow for simple modifications in a workflow process.Waiting Time
What are your operational costs per minute or per procedure in your specialty labs or departments? If you can’t answer this I’m willing to bet your patient demographic is as unhappy as your board of directors. Your wait time is a direct reflection on your level of communication and accessibility and hopefully the same reason you’re following along. Let’s get down to brass tacks, how long are you waiting for:
- Test Results
- Clinical Staff
- Bed Allocation
- Discharge Operations
- Room Cleaning
Is that weekend clinic you opened profitable? Is the issue really a staff shortage or over production based on your current workflow structure? Let’s look at the old ‘80/20 Bell Curve’ philosophy for a second, this theory suggest that 80% of your business will derive from 20% of your customer base or activity. So, in theory only 20% of your staff’s daily activity is profitable. What will you do with the other 80% once you eliminate excessive motion in your department? Imagine the reduction in staff turn-over when you offer them the opportunity in providing meaningful care not a crash course in 5 various technologies.Let’s take the same example from above and remove ‘staff’ and insert ‘resources.’ Now, there isn’t any technology out there that is going to make you money by you simply purchasing it. However, there is technology that will increase your utilization rates in turn allowing you the ability to perform more procedures with the same amount of resources thus enhancing your revenue stream. So, I ask you again, if you’re making 80% of your money and only utilizing 20% of your current ‘resources’ 20% of the time, are you short staffed?Mission Statement
As a Global Solution Executive I’m frequently asked in many different languages, “What do you do?” My response:Make a difference!The Electronic Whiteboard™
is your centralized communication tool for recognizing then identifying wasteful workflow habits while implementing a systematic approach in providing better workflow processes by eliminating underutilized resources and unproductive activity for an enhanced procedure experience.
The Cost of Missed Communications – Is It Really Hard to Find?
- Wednesday, 09 May 2012 19:39
So…. I was on the phone today with a very busy neurological surgery practice
. Our discussion started talking about electronic workflow systems
and how they might help the practice with their communications needs. Before we could do that successfully we needed to discuss the current workflow tools in use. Here it is.Six providers with six mid-levels performing procedures in numerous hospitals with offices is seven locations. Pretty typical but the workflow and communications tool is paper. It’s a well designed form that the provider picks up at the office or from their email. Once in hand they use it throughout the day to track patient locations
and CPT codes
for the procedures performed. The paper is turned into the office for billing and coding and to help generate future rounds and procedure schedules.Last year I was speaking with a busy cardiology practice manager and we determined that with a similar paper system they were losing 25% of their billings just on the failure to communicate accomplished work. Providers forgot to record procedures; waited until the end of the day to fill out the sheets; scribble procedure notes on the form; and worse case lost them before they turned them in. Let’s assume that the neurosurgery practice is a bit better to the tune of 10% failure to report. A twelve provider practice is bringing in at least $10mm. 10% of $10mm is $1,000,000.00. THIS IS LOST BILLING JUST ON FAILURE TO REPORT. This doesn’t include effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, QIP…and so on.So…. As our conversation started it ended the same way, talking about electronic workflow systems
and how they might help them with their communications needs. In this specific case we’ll look at immediate communications to the billing and coding department just post case only. This eliminates each of the issues above. Maybe we can’t get all the $1mm but let’s say 80% or $800,000.00. We didn’t even discuss the compression of AR $ because of real time billing which is direct money in their pocket. The solution had a $20k annual price tag. Yes $20k to get $800k. It’s really not that hard to find if you take an honest objective look at the situation. It’s a great time we’re living in when you can spend $20k and not only have immediate ROI but a 40x return on your dollars each and every year.