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How to determine an opportunity for improvement while shadowing?

Posted on July 25, 2016

Learn how to identify the key moments in Care Experiences
that will lead to your best process improvement.

You’re side by side with the patient in the first exam room with her immediate family standing across from you. As the patient is whisked away by the radiologist, everyone is anxious and rapidly asking questions to the nurse before the surgeon arrives. You notice the stressful twitches and pacing back and forth by the family members as you continue to shadow and observe the Care Experience. Among the increasing list of observations, you are also charged with flagging which of those are the most ripe for improving the experience for this patient.

Sometimes, the opportunities will be too obvious to miss, but more subtle details are often lost in between the commotion and stress of the situation. Those details often lead to to powerful improvements in care experiences. The good news is there are a few helpful tips to assist you in transforming observations into opportunity.

Identify Process Bottlenecks
These are the areas that are slowing down the Care Experience. Bottlenecks will act as an inhibitor to the Patient and Family as they travel through their experience and are easily identified by backlog or a queue of patients.

Take Note of Inconveniences
These are the most difficult moments for both the Patient and Families. They may be moments of high stress, burdens, or gaps in convenience or care. These inconveniences are the most common hassles to identify when viewing the Care Experience, through the Patient and Family’s eyes.

Leverage Previous Observations
Another easy way to identify opportunities for improvement is through previous shadowing data. For example, previously shadowed experiences provide you with a time study for you to compare while you are shadowing and identifying common care process times. This will allow you to seek out why certain areas are more or less efficient.

If you leverage these tips, you should be able to identify common opportunities for improvement, but also remember some opportunities will not be identifiable until after you complete the full care experience and have a new understanding of the experience.

How to use goShadow to flag opportunities

When you are shadowing, you will be generating a sizable amount of notes. If you’re using pen and paper to shadow, you need to take time to highlight opportunities and find them later when you transcribe the notes to your reports.

goShadow gives you the necessary toolkit to build, share and report upon your ideas in a simple way. We’ve built in the ability to easily track opportunities by simply pressing down on the lightbulb icon within the GoShadow iPad app.

After you completed your shadowing you will be able to create an Opportunity Report, which highlights any observations captured during shadowing that demonstrate an opportunity to improve the Care Experience. Only the notes that were tagged throughout shadowing as an Opportunity will be imported.

Additionally, a Care Experience Flow map can help to uncover the most unforeseen locations for process improvement. Coupling these two reports together you will have a solid foundation in which you can start to implement your improvements.


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