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When I visit hospitals and work with them, I often see boards in different departments, with some variation of practices that are often called “Lean Daily Management” or something similar.
One core idea of Lean management is that we don’t rely on monthly reports, data, and metrics. Monthly metrics create slow cycles of learning and improvement. This is especially true when the monthly reports aren’t available for many weeks after the end of the past month.
Daily management boards, aka “huddle boards,” often have different ways of tracking daily performance.
See one board from a recent visit in an American hospital:
In the middle, with the green, yellow, and red zones, there’s a chart that tracks (in this case) 5S audit scores. I think these were monthly scores. I’ve often seen similar hand-drawn charts that track the number of discharges before a certain time or some other metric that can be tracked locally on a daily basis.
In the top center of the photo, you see what’s often referred to as a “safety cross.”
This is meant to be filled in daily:
- Red = reportable injury
- Yellow = near miss
- Green = “safe day”
Unfortunately, “safe day” could possibly mean “nothing was reported.”
As a manager, you’d want to make sure this is being tracked daily. As a visitor, it was unclear to me why the days from the 10th to the 14th weren’t filled in.
Any near miss or incident should, of course, drive root cause analysis and systemic corrective action — not blaming individuals or falling back on weak countermeasures like “re-training.”
Unfortunately, I’ve seen many of these daily tracking sheets fall into not being used. I visited this hospital in June and they had the April safety cross up. What message is that sending to staff?
Anyway, sorry to be negative… that was the most recent example I had handy.
This method of tracking, engagement, and improvement IS very useful… but only if managers and leaders at all levels are willing to exhibit the right behaviors and mindsets.
The PDF file includes:
You can print them and put them on your board each month. Or, you could laminate it and re-use it… but I’d encourage you to track performance over time in some way so that the data you collected over a month doesn’t get lost.
What do you think about this method? Do you use it in your organization? What are your tips or lessons learned? Leave a comment below…
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