In a previous post I talked about service design after having treatment as an outpatient at a large teaching hospital. In my recent seminar we brainstormed this further using post-its instead of a mind map.
We wrote the first things that came into our head and then here we are sorting them into some kind of order! Its actually quite tricky when your new to this kind of thing.
Once we were happy with the order we had to mark the two columns which we thought were the most important – this was interesting as the majority picked directions and staff.
3 minute brainstorm – in no particular order – Points that were highlighted under the staff heading were politeness, nurses, reduce staff stress, doctors, helpful staff, touch screens, access information via computer screens not through people, more staff, compassion, friendly, better informed staff – need to know more in general as well as their training, smiles, communication, the receptionist able to ask questions that will help doctors.
Could this mean that the key to better service with in the hospital is the happiness/training of the staff – before things can change the service designers would have to speak to everyone who provides and uses the service. Briefly some points which spring to mind;
- reception is the first point of contact, the receptionists should be able to carry out their work competently but have empathy for the patients/visitors to the hospital – they should also have suitable equipment and enough staff to cope with demand.
- the nurses both agency and permanent should be briefed thoroughly on how their department is run; there should be adequate staff to enable them to cope so that in an emergency they are able to deal with the patients and outpatients who are in their care. Training should be thorough and although theoretical training is important, more hands on patient care training ( as in the old days) should be given.
- Doctors should be allowed more time with patients then the consultation wouldn’t be rushed, the doctor would have time to make notes afterwards and the patients wouldn’t feel awkward and forget to mention things. Telephone calls should not be put through to the doctor when he is consulting (as in my case).
This is a huge task which involves money and reorganisation and a rather large service design group!