Thinking of a healthy business… this year, my wife Susan and I have had a fair amount of interaction with the medical community. However, I’ll spare you the details!
However, as a business systems “guru” I’ve been impressed with the many good changes I’ve seen at these medical facilities. It’s great to see online and posted checklists, and bar-coding systems! Such systems help ensure that medical facilities are able to provide the proper care and medicines to the proper person.
At the office level, where written instructions and policies are given to anxious patients, there seemed real need of improvement. That would be especially important for home care, or preparation for a medical procedure!
Asking for clarification about a facility’s confusing printed instructions, we often met with comments like the following:
- “Oh, you really don’t need to do that one, because we will take care of that during your procedure”… or…
- “That’s a good question, I don’t know about that!”
- “Not sure about that, but let me talk to the doctor, and I’ll call you tomorrow”
- Or, my favorite: “Really? The Instructions say THAT?”
And those from medical professionals!
What I’ve shared about here was not life-threatening really. But, if WE had so many questions about the printed instructions, surely others did also. We heard more than one provider admit that their instructions were “in bad need of updating!”
These seemingly small inconveniences for patients can be disconcerting, and costly! Yet, I believe most medical professionals would say it’s “just part of the job.” Fact is, this is not healthy business!
Healthy Business Systems help serve the Customer
Consider the time a patient loses having to call a medical facility for clarification. They often have to leave a message and wait, sometimes days, for a call back. If they’re able to connect with someone, they may be told, “I will have to ask someone else and call you back!” Think of the time wasted by medical professionals themselves. Consequently, they’re having to interrupt one another just to ensure patients that they have the latest and correct instructions. Most of this information will be shared with verbal communication.
The reason for these outdated instructions and miscommunications is, because many smaller offices and clinics just don’t have a system for updating documents into a well-organized Operations Manual.
In the medical community, the wrong information could be dangerous, even deadly!
Today, many new systems have been implemented for the more crucial matters. And the message of quality control is being heard loud and clear in the medical community! As I walked through one really nice facility, recently, I was glad to see an office door sign that read, QUALITY ADMINISTRATOR.
Implementing simple systems
It would be so easy to reduce the number of phone calls to medical providers, with just a simple system. Implementing an online Corrective Action system would help medical personnel to record, track and FIX such misunderstandings with printed instructions. It would also be a deterrent to any other non-conforming events that happen in medical facilities daily. It’s the same for printing industry and all other industries,
A healthy business requires healthy systems!
The next time you have occasion (especially the necessity) to visit a medical facility, be sure to take notice of the systems they have in place, “for the sake of your health.” Your life may depend on it!
Did I mention—Great Systems Work!