Five Steps to Creating Positive Change in Your Hospital

by Rebecca on July 1, 2013

iStock_000022505621XSmallWe all have struggles in our businesses, and one of the main ones I have is my team not being able to read my mind.  I wish they could, because it would make my job a lot easier. Seriously though, do you have any issues in your hospital that keep surfacing over and over?  In our practice, one of the biggest challenges we face is doing a great job but also doing it as time efficiently as possible.

My team not knowing and understanding what my expectations were for the day was a huge issue. I would get frustrated with my team for not understanding what and how we needed to get things done each day because to me it was obvious.

I would try to give them the “plan for the day” (in your world this is more commonly known as “the daily huddle,”) but the consistency was never there. When things seemed to be running smoother- I would back off from giving them the plan which would then lead to chaos. Then my control freak tendencies would kick in, and I would reinstate spelling out the “plan for the day” again and round and round we would go.  It was not good, and I bet some of you have similar experiences in your hospitals.

I have learned a lot about how NOT to create change in my business and now with the help of these 5 things, we have actually been able to create a positive change that has really helped maintain the level of communication we need in order to do a great job.

Here are the 5 steps that have enabled me to create a habit of discussing “our plan for the day”:

1. Create accountability– you need someone who is going to make sure you stick to what you said.   I have a tendency to just jump in and get the day rolling but this can create confusion.  Based on Kadie’s DISC profile she is the one who is best suited to make sure that we discuss “the plan for the day,” so one of her responsibilities is to ask me what the plan is if I have not brought it up. She has done a great job of this, and it has made a big difference vs. when I was trying to do this on my own!

2. Have a set time– we discuss this in the truck when we are riding to the first hospital of the day.  If we are not riding together, then we discuss the plan ASAP upon arrival.  There are numerous studies that support having a set time helps create a new habit, and this has certainly helped us a lot.

3. Only institute one change at a time.  This is where I really have to SLOW myself down.  I always want to make bold, sweeping, dramatic changes. However, I can assure you from my own experience, trying to change too many things at once in your business, will lead to nothing ever changing.

4. Start small– if you have a big change you would like to institute, can you break it down into small more manageable steps?  The beauty of starting small is that you will get some “wins” which will empower you to do the next thing.  Small consistent changes will lead to big changes over time.

5. Ask yourself  “why you want this change.”.  This is the most important step.  Unless you have a clear reason to create the new change-it will not last. I knew our “plan for the day” would increase our communication.  It would enable us to all be on the same page.  It would clearly let my team know what my expectations were so we would all be able to the best job possible as efficiently as possible. This made it easier for me to see why creating this new habit was so important.

For my team, we really needed to improve our daily communication.  This may also be something you struggle with in your hospital.  There may be another challenge that is driving you crazy right now-if so take a step back and see how these 5 steps can help you create the change you would like to see in your own hospital.

 Do you use a “daily huddle” in your practice?  If not, how do you ensure that everyone is on the same page?

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