FierceHealthcare FierceHealthIT FierceMobileHealthcare FierceHealthPayer
FierceHealthFinance FierceEMR FiercePracticeManagemtn Hospital Impact

Wikio - Top Blogs - Health

Hospital Impact has been ranked one of the top 50 healthcare blogs by Wikio.

Get the RSS Feed


Advertise with us

Contact us

Front-line hospital staff as daily problem solvers

February 12th, 2014

by Marcelo Zottolo

Want to drive performance? Stop telling your front-line staff what to do and engage them in daily problem solving.

One of the biggest wastes in healthcare, aside from the wasteful spending, is the waste of not reaching to your front-line staff for daily problem solving.

At Cape Coral Hospital, in southwest Florida, we have been experimenting with daily improvement huddles in the emergency department. These are five- to 10-minute stand-up meetings, twice a day, to review service, safety and quality performance. It also provides staff-generated opportunities and ideas for improvement.


Through partnership with the Lean Transformation Office, we conducted a value mapping workshop that included training and the deployment of a daily improvement huddle board in the ED. In the past, typical objectives of such a workshop would include reducing left without been seen rate, door-to-doc, length of stay in the department, etc.

This time, the main objective behind the initiative was to begin the development of a community of daily problem solvers. The project to improve operational performance really became a means to an end.

With respect to short-term operational outcomes, in 90 days, the team was able to realize the following outcomes:

  • Reduced the left without being seen rate by 55 percent on a year-to-year basis. This means we provided care to an additional 425 patients--the number of patients who last year came to our hospital and left without care.
  • Got patients in front of providers (door-to-doc) 20 percent faster. This is a typical measure of patient flow and is highly correlated to patient satisfaction.
  • Increased patient satisfaction every single month compared to the same months the previous year.
  • On the people side, the department was recognized as the most improved in employee engagement.

If you are not reaching out and engaging your front-line staff in daily problem solving, you are missing out on their full potential. How are you engaging your staff?

Marcelo Zottolo is a Lean transformation specialist with Lee Memorial Health System, in southwest Florida, supporting the emergency department value stream. He holds a Bachelor and Masters in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan.


Get Hospital Impact in your inbox!

List in Marketplace | Supplier in Marketplace