By Ernesto “Ernie” Cerdena
Team communication and transparencies are more important than ever. A daily huddle provides an avenue to communicate effectively within your workforce before the day begins. The brief communication via phone, video call or in person, typically runs about 7 to 15 minutes. Brief discussions include important elements that will make up the day’s game plan. These items may include daily census, equipment issues, supplies or drug shortages, staffing model/assignments, employee accomplishment/celebration, patient safety issues from the last 24 hours, anticipated issues within the next 24 hours and other items that are vital to operational efficiencies and excellence in patient care.
The Daily Team Huddle is a best practice that every organization should emulate. Depending on the organization, the huddle may be called daily management system, daily touchpoint or daily briefing. During my tenure as a corporate director of radiology services at a hospital, I usually gathered the team around 8:15 a.m. to conduct the huddle. I usually rotated the employees to take the lead to foster employee engagement and embrace the process. We started by first recognizing employees’ safety catches.
The other important component is identifying the current census and anticipated volume for the day to adjust to an appropriate staffing level to improve patient care. As a leader, on one hand, it is important to ascertain that the increase in volume matches the patient-staff ratio to ensure patient safety is achieved and mitigates patient care delay. On the other hand, the leader would adjust the staffing level when the census is down to achieve the desired staffing productivity level toward efficient imaging operations. Equipment downtime must be reported, more specifically in some modalities, without redundancy. Identifying outstanding equipment issues enables the leader to communicate to the in-house biomed engineering department or OEM to prioritize repairs.
At MTMI, we perform daily touchpoints twice a day. The first one is at 8:30 a.m. to address any issues from the courses held within the last 24 hours and any anticipated issues for the next 24 hours. Issues may include a student’s access to the program or a presenter’s issue with audio and video among other issues. We also discuss staff assignments for the day. These may include speakers’ presentation materials, content review, dry run, accreditation review and approval, customer service, marketing plan and strategies, and many action oriented items that are crucial to the day’s effective operations. The afternoon touch point is at 3 p.m. and is dedicated to review daily registration activity. The focal point of the brief huddle includes enrollment increase, course volume stagnation and strategies to identify the target audience and improve volume. Ultimately, the daily team huddle, or touch point, reinforces the importance of teamwork, forward thinking, formulation and execution of effective strategies to achieve set goals. •
Ernesto “Ernie” Cerdena, Ph.D, MS RT (R)(CT)(CV), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE, is President at MTMI Global.
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