I am currently writing an article that will be published in March or April and the editor of the magazine asked me to include practical tips that healthcare managers can follow to implement simplicity.
This is a brilliant question to challenge me because I guess everyone can say ‘lets simplify things’ but what managers are looking for apparently are practical tips about what they can do personally to simplify the workplace.
Based on my own experience there are many things managers can do and here are 10 for starters. These tips relate to healthcare but I suggest they apply in any organisation – for ‘patients’ and ‘carers’ simply read 'customers'
Let me know what you think of this list – it is no order of priority;
1 When you have written your next report ask two people who are paid significantly less than you to tell you honestly if they understood it fully
2 Make time in your diary every week to ask a patient about their recent healthcare experience
3 At least once a month ask a carer to explain to you how they became a carer
4 At your team meeting every week or every month depending on the frequency of meetings, ask someone to do a five minute presentation called (without using PowerPoint) “My big simplicity idea for our team is …..”
5 Invite a patient or a carer to read three e mails or letters you have sent in the previous week and ask them to give you feedback about the language you used
6 Invite two 16 year old students who are friends to attend your team meeting and ask them to give the team members honest feedback at the end of the meeting about the language used
7 Find a report about absolutely anything two sides of A4 long. Send the report to a colleague and ask him/her to return it to you reduced to one side of A4. Judge for yourself whether one side is adequate to get the message over
8 Ask one of your team members to write a story on one side of A4 called “A complicated problem in this department/team explained for an audience of secondary school students (11-16 year olds). Send the story to a local schoolteacher and ask for feedback from the students at his/her school
9 Send a report you have written to;
2 Clerical staff.
Ask the four of them to rate your report on a scale of 0 to 10.
0 = I did not understand it at all
10 = I understood it completely
Think about how you can improve your score in your next report. If you score 40 points congratulations you are the new Simplicity President :-)
10 In your next written report of more than 200 words do not use any acronyms