If you’ve been following along our blog for a while, you know that we are fond of the mantra that everything is a process. Whether it’s understanding the voice of the customer, hiring a consultant, coaching, or managing alternative work arrangements, pretty much everything has its roots in process. Heck, Nicole even related having the flu to a process!
So, I have a challenge for you today – just to see if you’ve been paying attention.
I’d like you to look at your place of work and identify one process improvement that would make all the difference in the world to your job.
Last night I went for a walk with one of my bff’s, and conversation turned, as it often does, to work. My friend (I’ll call her Samantha) works as a physiotherapist in a major hospital, and no one is better suited to the job. I think it’s a calling, really. She loves it, she loves the patients, and most days everything is rainbows, puppies, and sunshine.
The conversation went something like this:
Samantha: So again today, I had to deal with referrals that weren’t legit.
Me: What does that mean?
Samantha: Well, in a hospital, physios only see patients if there is a mobility-related need that has been properly assessed by someone else like a nurse or a doctor.
Samantha: Because not everything is a mobility issue. If you have a headache you aren’t referred to a neurologist right away, are you? No. You’re assessed and things are ruled out. The same goes for patients who don’t want to get out of bed – it may be related to their illness or some other cause. Physios only help with the mobility causes, and when we are referred incorrectly it’s a HUGE waste of time and is annoying to the patient.
Me: So what’s the process for a referral?
(That’s right. It took me, the process geek, 2 minutes to get to a process issue. Kind of scary. Fortunately Samantha doesn’t mind at all.)
Samantha: There’s a referral form that people fill out, or they might just verbally request it during rounds and then fill it out later.
Me: Is there something on the form that requires the mobility assessment is done?
Samantha: No. They just have to put it in the comments when they do charts.
Me: So there’s no checkbox on the form to ensure the assessment is done before the referral is passed?
What’s Your “Checkbox”?
Now to be fair, finding the improvement and getting it implemented are two different things. I’m sure that Samantha can’t just march up to administration and demand the form include a checkbox.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at potential improvements. Over time, Samantha will have the opportunity to influence and educate those around her, and this will likely lead to an improvement in the referral process. These things just take time and patience. (Click to Tweet)
So there’s my challenge to you. Look around your workspace. What are those annoying things that could be tweaked and improved with relatively little effort? What is your “checkbox” and how can you influence change?
Tell us about it in the comments below.
Until next time,