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Harnessing the power of a daily management system

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | April 07, 2020
From the April 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Thurston says SCCA’s utilization averages 100 percent. That’s coupled with a self-imposed target of getting patients in for a scan within two days of a call to schedule. “In healthcare imaging, that’s a pretty aggressive goal, but we make changes as needed if we see we’re not meeting that target,” she says.

With those stats, it’s clear to see why the DMS is critical. It’s a tool to keep maintenance, workflow, staffing, supply chain and patient access all on track.

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Thurston says the goal in creating the DMS was to provide more control and insight into the day-to-day challenges of the organization. “We don’t ever skip a day. Maybe the whole team isn’t there every day, but the check-in does happen.”

Bonnie Thurston
And the beauty is in the complexity — or lack thereof. “We actually have a big board that we gather around. Part of the work that the week’s team leader will do is put some of the key metrics they’ve decided to focus on into a spreadsheet, and we’ll have that at our disposal to look at trends. Here’s the snapshot for the day, here’s how we’re responding,” Thurston says. It goes further, using color coding to brief management as to the severity of a problem. For example, a note in red would be related to patient safety, staffing issues in yellow, workflow in green and blue is a matter of convenience or aesthetics (the wish list items).

When the DMS was being implemented, the leaders in attendance were all on board for giving it a shot. Frontline staff was more reserved at first, seeing everyone huddled around a large board filled with notes. In the two years since its introduction however, their reservation has dissolved. “Comment from the frontline staff today is that it gives them a sense that management is listening. ‘I had a problem, it made it onto the board, it’s getting addressed,’” Thurston says.

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