Preventing Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts01/23/2019
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As healthcare workers, we see ourselves as part of the grand initiative to improve the health of people in our communities. This often means undertaking large, important, and ambitious projects to support providers and staff that maintain and improve the quality of that care. We spend a significant portion of our time on these projects because it is necessary for us to think big and act big in order to tackle something as profound as delivering exceptional healthcare.

Although big projects get most of the glory, we can’t forget about all the other work that still needs to happen to keep the lights on at any health system. This is the work needed to get people the information they need, to look at issues, or to help answer questions. It is the things that drive the day-to-day. When they go wrong, it can feel like “death by a thousand paper cuts.”

This phenomenon can feel compounded when these minor issues and discrepancies have been reported but it feels like no one addresses them. Over time questions, requests, and concerns that have been raised by clinical and operational leaders may be sitting in a ticket queue or assigned to the wrong team or work stream due to a broken process.

Addressing Broken Processes

At Prominence, we pride ourselves on helping health systems deliver the best tools and services to their caregivers by focusing not only on the forest but also its trees. One of the ways that we do this is by working with health systems to optimize the process by which they receive, review, develop, test, train and deliver regular demand as part their day-to-day operations. This strategic work involves:

Solution in Action

We recently had one customer who had a backlog of over six hundred reporting tickets with many dissatisfied internal customers. We were able to implement a short-term process to work down the backlog and prioritize outstanding requests by key operational leaders in each part of the health system. In the first month we reduced the backlog by 25% in the first 30 days.

We had another customer who didn’t have a formal work intake process and instead relied on a multiple avenues all new requests – including hallway conversations, intra-office mail, and phone calls. Many things were lost in the shuffle and work was only prioritized by First In, First Out (FIFO) unless told otherwise by a key leader. We helped this health system create intake and demand management tools and implemented a process for capturing, assessing, and prioritizing all new demand requests. We worked with this organization to build a Tableau dashboard to manage all outstanding demand and review demand for prioritization.

If you would like to learn more on how we can help with your organization’s demand intake please reach out to us.

 

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