Improve office efficiency with a morning huddle

Improve office efficiency with a morning huddle

We wrote about the value of holding morning huddles in this blog space back in early 2012. If you missed that post, read it here. That article covered the reasons to use this technique and an overview of how to conduct effective huddles. In this follow-up post, we’re offering 13 suggestions for what your team might consider covering during these daily mini meetings. Think about the top one or two operational challenges you face in your office on an ongoing basis, and then select three or four of the following huddle questions/topics to go over each day in an effort to make your practice run more efficiently.

  1. Is anyone out unexpectedly due to illness or other personal matter? If so, what’s the plan to cover for that employee today?
  2. Have there been any last-minute cancellations that the providers should know about?
  3. Are there gaps in today’s schedule that need to be filled? If so, what’s the plan?
  4. Are there any scheduling issues that have the potential to cause patient flow problems today?
  5. Do we have any known “problem patients” coming to the office today?
  6. Does anyone (staff or providers) have meetings or appointments that will take them out of the practice today?
  7. Is anyone coming to the office today other than patients (e.g., sales person, consultant, repairman)?
  8. Are we out of or running low on any supplies that might impact patient care?
  9. What percentage of patient co-pays were successfully collected yesterday?
  10. Were any compliments received from patients yesterday?
  11. Were any complaints received from patients yesterday? (Keep this very brief. Deal with the issue at a later time; the huddle is just for reporting the concern.)
  12. Did any patient have to wait more than 15 minutes yesterday? If so, why? (Again, keep discussions like this brief. If you have a systemic problem with wait times, address the issue during a regular staff meeting or by appointing a task force to work on a solution.)
  13. What is our number one goal for today?

This probably seems like a long list. Remember, you are choosing only a few of these topics to briefly address during your morning huddle (which, by the way, should be held at exactly the same time each day and last no more than 10 minutes). Keep this list on file and review it periodically. As ongoing issues get resolved as a result of addressing them during morning huddle (e.g., scheduling bottlenecks become less of a concern), replace that item with one that is more meaningful given current conditions in the office. As you engage in the routine of holding morning huddles, you’ll likely come up with additional topics to review based on what is unique to your practice.