Start Every Hospital Meeting w/ 5 Minutes on Employee and Patient Safety
Recently, I posted a video of a “daily huddle” meeting at Everett Clinic (not exactly the type of huddle pictured at left). Yesterday, in honor of the Labor Day holiday, I had a post about employee safety and how that should be the primary moral obligation of any workplace anywhere.
The conversation quickly steered to the idea of starting each meeting, at any level, with a brief discussion of employee safety. As I thought back to my time in manufacturing — yes, that's a very common practice in manufacturing settings, including those that aren't using Lean methods.
So my mind went back to how rarely I've seen that practiced in hospitals — why is that?
In yesterday's post comments, a number of people brought up the manufacturing focus on safety, including Kevin Meyer of Evolving Excellence:
When we begin having “safety” as the very first topic at the daily 5 minute standup meetings for the leadership team and every department, our culture changed quickly. We also began noticing unexpected trends and coming up with immediate solutions – none of which effectively happened with the old “quarterly safety review” format. The impact on our safety statistics has been very positive, but perhaps just as importantly it sent a clear signal to our employees that safety is a priority.
So it begs the question for healthcare – why not start every meeting with a focus on both employee safety AND patient safety? How many of you reading are doing this? Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this isn't too common in healthcare settings.
Now, the focus on safety shouldn't be a daily lecture to “be careful.” It should focus on raising safety issues (so they can be quickly resolved) and educating everyone on good consistent safety practices and making improvements to safety.
How much hospital CEO time is spent on patient safety on a daily basis? Does every executive meeting start with a discussion of safety?
How would this change in focus help prevent incidents like the recent preventable error at Cincinnati Children's hospital where a 7-month old patient, Tressel Meinardi, died after being flushed with alcohol instead of saline?
If you're a manufacturing reader, can you share your daily practices for “safety first” in meetings and team huddles?
If you were away over the holiday weekend, here are posts that you missed:
- Economics: From “Dismal Science” to Dismal Home? (a funny story from NPR where an economics tries to use incentives in potty training his kids)
- Lean Blog Week in Review #1 – September 4, 2010 (a new video experiment I might try every week, or most weeks – let me know your feedback).