Project Management

The potential ROI from a 15 minute conversation once a day?

Paul Stewart attended the New Zealand 2012 Continuous Improvement Conference by CI Forum, and came away with insights regarding the power of brief, consistent conversations. The idea came from Tim Denison, a member of the Auckland District Health Board. He explained how, through 15 minute meetings reviewing patients in the Ward, the General Medicine and Orthopedics Wards saved over 3.5 million a year. The 15 minute meeting looked like this, according to Paul Stewart: The major process change was the seemingly simple idea of introducing the  “Daily Rapid Round”.   This is a daily 15 minute stand up meeting involving the doctor, charge nurse, staff nurse, physio, occupational therapist and social worker, using an electronic screen.     The status of each patient on the Ward is quickly reviewed against four agenda items: Change to working diagnosis; Plan for the day/stay; Referral status; Estimated discharge date.   The process is also supported by visual management, with the large status board for patients visible in the work area. Take note that the meeting is centered around the patient, not other administrative tasks or internal concerns. This frames the entirety of the work and effort being performed on the person being treated and not the business side of healing. It's an easy jump to see how this standing meeting is a great idea for any business: get key stakeholders across multiple areas together (electronically or otherwise), rapidly determine how each is interacting for the day, and putting the needs of the customer in the center to frame every action. The standing meeting presented here also allows for a rapid deployment of new information: if an issue has been discovered, a stakeholder needs to be contacted, or a requirement changed, this once a day meeting can have all groups working on the project informed and ready to change.

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