Healthcare employees are more and more overloaded with administrative task. They feel they have less and less time for the client and patient because they have to register everything they do.
This administrative burden creates time pressure and causes stress among healthcare employees.
That was also the case at Vivantes – an elderly care organization in the south of the Netherlands.
Problem and Objective
The team in Olympiastaete, on of the residential locations of Vivantes has started a Lean Six Sigma project to reduce the administrative tasks and associated workload.
Here are some related problems the team has identified:
- The registration and reporting costs too much time
- Shift turn-over meetings are lengthy
- Team members do not perceive the shift turn-over meetings as useful
- In spite of the shift turn-over meetings, mistakes are still made by employees
To quantify the problem, the team has collected data on the time spent during the shift hand-over meeting and the number of times those meetings took place in 24 hour.
The baseline showed that 21 shift hand-over meetings takes place between two or more employees in 24 hours. The average length of such meeting is 11 minute.
Analysis and Solutions
Looking at the base line data and the process diagram describing a normal 24 hours workday, the team was socked by the huge amount of time spent during those hand-over meetings.
The first thing the team agreed was that they needed to clearly define what needs to be handed-over. If nothing special has happend with the client in the past shift, there is nothing to be discussed. If something happend concerning the health condition or in the family situation of the client, that should be clearly reported and handed-over to the next shift.
Because not every team member had to give care for every resident but only for those on their routing, the team had created an easy overview where red sign would be marked at resident name if there was some special situation that needed to be discussed during the shift change.
Otherwise no red mark, nothing to be discussed and the new shift can start with their work. No meeting needed.
The team was satisfied that they have finally have created clarity about what needs to be handed over to the new shift. Some of the team members were afraid that they would miss out on some social coffee time but when they have realised how much time they can save following this new process, they were very happy.
They had enough time for social talk and they had much more time available for more attention for the quality of care.
- The number of hand-over meetings were reduced by 67% from 21 to 7
- The length of the meeting was reduced by 28% from 11 to 8 minutes
- The time saving was 3 hours per day that was available now to spend with the residents instead of in useless meetings
- Cost savings: $ 38.000 per year.
- This project has been executed at other location (Lindeheuvel) with similar results: 45% reduction in hand-over meetings from 22 to 12, length of meetings reduced by 31% from 14 to 10 minutes. Costs reduction of $42.000 on annual basis.
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