Defining Success – Healthcare Scheduling

by | Dec 19, 2011

As we come around the home stretch on our Healthcare Scheduling Implementation Roadmap Series, I want to start taking a look at what the end game looks like. We talked about this a little bit earlier this year when we looked at the Oversight Trap. As I’m sure you remember, we talked about understanding how your vision correlates to your scope and in order to make the latter achievable, you must effectively define your vision first. That vision becomes a part of what you want your end result to look like – what your desired destination is on your roadmap.

But when it comes to down to post- or even mid- project evaluation, how do you know if you have truly been successful? Well, you have to have defined what successful is!

Think about the value of your old roadmap atlas. Or your GPS. If you went on a family vacation and your kids were pumped from their school history classes (we’re using our imaginations here!) to go see “historic U.S. battlefields,” how excited would they be if you pull out the map (or GPS) and used it to end up in…Tupelo, Mississippi, where a battle was fought over a railroad supply line during the Civil War? They might be happy, or they might be disappointed that you’re not at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania or up in the Boston area with all of its Revolutionary War sites.

Technically speaking, Tupelo does have a historic U.S. battlefield, but if, in retrospect, your kids decided that the vacation actually required seeing a statue of Paul Revere, then you missed your chance to go straight to your destination. Even though you had a roadmap, you didn’t define in advance the specifics of your destination.

This Roadmap series that we have been going through on this blog is an atlas of sorts too. It’s going to help you get from Point A (“home”) to Point B (“family vacation site”). But you have to know what Point B is or else you are going to end up driving through Point X (“Tupelo”), trying to decide if you are at your destination yet or not.

Defining that success for a healthcare scheduling implementation can take a couple of different forms:

1.       Evaluating against or tracking to measurable statistics. This can look something like “95% of nursing and ancillary departments are posting schedules on time” or “75% reduction in post payroll adjustments due to elimination of scheduling errors” or other metrics that are tied to the project’s ROI. Axsium has a tool called “Balanced Scorecard” (look for more on this tool in healthcare soon) that is specifically designed to help organizations track to their success metrics. Mitigating or eliminating compliance risks are a great metric to use to define success!

2.       Completed on time & within budget. This is more of a traditional measure of project success, but what does it mean to be “completed”? If your leadership has not made using the scheduling system mandatory, a good definition of completion can be “provided the opportunity for use” as an alternative.

Regardless of what you define for success, you need to define something. That way you know if you’ve gotten there or if you still need to keep working at it! Because even though you can probably find some great southern food in Tupelo, you won’t get see Bunker Hill unless you’re in Boston.

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