Idea Boards

Hello,

Anyone who has spent any time talking to me knows how strongly I feel about using idea boards to help us make innovative changes to the way we do our jobs.

The concept of the boards gets to the heart of what it means to be an everyday innovator – initiating change at the most local levels of our health care system – in your department, on your unit, with your peers to make workflow better. The types of ideas you’re producing offer solutions suggested by the people who understand the challenges best – you know how to fix the issues that frustrate you and add inefficiencies that slow your work processes.

Idea Board

Idea Board

There are currently more than 150 active idea boards in our system, and to date, more than 1,000 ideas implemented from them. If your department or unit isn’t currently using one, please talk to your manager, and we can help get you all started.

The ideas we’ve shown here may seem basic at first, but when a few small ideas turn into dozens, which turn into hundreds and then thousands, the impact can be tremendous.

I was recently invited to an Accounts Payable idea board huddle

I was recently invited to an Accounts Payable idea board huddle

The Accounts Payable team at the Medical Center recently invited me to one of their idea board “huddles.”

I wouldn’t have imagined that folks in Accounts Payable would not have much direct patient interaction, but due to a phone glitch, they were receiving several Patient Accounts calls each day.

Not only was this frustrating for the staff and the patients, it was also taking valuable work time to straighten out each call. Through the idea board, they came up with a great collaborative solution with the operators, and that frustration level has largely been relieved.

Our friends in the Radiology Clinic on the University Campus of the Medical Center had an issue in their beautiful new space that needed addressing.

Technologists bringing patients to and from procedures found they couldn’t see oncoming “traffic” down the hallways. As a result, daily “near misses” while transporting patients were the norm. Watch this video to see how a simple idea made life much easier — and safer — for our patients and staff.

Congratulations to Sheryl and the Radiology team. Their persistence and innovative solution helped make a necessary change. Frankly, this issue probably wouldn’t have come to the attention of senior management until there was a patient accident. That’s why front line staff must seize their power to make changes that make a difference.

If you’re still not sure how to suggest an idea, please drop us a note. Feel free to send it along to communications@umassmemorial.org . I always look forward to your feedback.

Thanks for taking great care of our patients and one another,

Eric

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