Improving patient care with a Daily Operating System

Daily Operating system can help improve Healthcare

West Gippsland Healthcare Group (WGHG) are using TeamAssurance to clearly visualize performance on any given day, and take action to improve their performance where needed.

Amongst other things, this allows them to;

  • Easily share information up and down the organization
  • Quickly communicate needs across all teams that share its resources
  • Share learnings and best practices across any part of the organization in real-time
  • Provide a Standardized agenda and format for daily huddles
  • Send out what were usually ‘Monthly updates’ each day

West Gippsland Healthcare Group (WGHG) is a public health organisation providing acute care, residential care and community health services to over 51,000 people.

Adopting best practice

WGHG have been working with Bettercare Victoria to adopt a systems approach to innovation and improvement, and were interested in a Daily Operating System (DOS). The concept of a DOS is to encourage a servant leadership approach, encourage visual management of information and use huddles to assess daily readiness. Not having any experience with a DOS previously, the executive team were committed to an effective implementation and needed a framework to assist with the change management across a large workforce.

Implementing best practice

TeamAssurance is designed to sit on top of a Daily Operating System and help facilitate the process. WGHG are using it for 38 teams (25 Tier 1) across Environmental Services, Clinical Operations, Allied & Community Health, Pharmacy, Learning & Development, Performance Improvement Unit, Food Services and more.

Anchored with a daily huddle, the typical tier 1 agenda at WGHG will include; 

  1. Safety and Quality (falls, medication errors, pressure injuries and risks). Any issue identified on the checklist is then raised as an activity and accountability assigned
  2. Escalations. Examples include barriers for patient flow, staff or patient injuries
  3. Resource readiness for the day – staff, equipment, supplies etc
  4. Rewards and recognition, which will be shared across teams. Acknowledgement of those can flow up and down.

This gives visibility of today’s operations and allows problems to be identified quickly. Frontline staff are empowered to solve these problems daily and the problems that they cannot fix are escalated, allowing countermeasures to be created quickly.

These daily huddles have replaced monthly staff meetings allowing information to flow in a timely way instead of waiting for the monthly staff meeting – which wasn’t attended by most staff anyway.

Timeliness of escalations and projects

WGHG were already effective at managing escalations upwards, however the perennial gap has been the flowing down of information such as decisions or feedback. This two way flow is where a Daily Operating System can be effective, but WGHG really noticed the difference with how TeamAssurance filled the gap. The floor staff feel that their concerns are being heard and actioned at the highest levels, because it’s visible to everyone in TeamAssurance. This creates a virtuous circle where people are more confident to raise issues and incidents, even the minor ones, because they can see and track the status of anything they’ve raised. That makes it easier to track performance, and bring about long term, sustainable improvement.

Staff feel like they’ve got more traction and ability to get things addressed
Daniel Scholtes, Operation Manager

Daniel Scholtes, Operations Manager, West Gippsland Healthcare Group

WGHG have also noticed that the activity of the Quality projects has jumped significantly. It’s easier to create and share, to manage the project tasks as part of the daily activities and to drive that improvement agenda. That visibility can be a time-saver for project staff and executives. Project progress can be shared with executives ahead of reviews, and because the status and information is real-time, everyone is on the same page prior to the meeting.

Strategic alignment across the organization

Once the Daily Operating System is embedded in all the wards, WGHG want to focus on strategy deployment. They have clear targets at the top, and clear targets at a department level, but it’s connecting the two that is the challenge. TeamAssurance ‘Goals‘ is seen as the tool that can help bridge the gap. Bringing together the daily activities and the strategic activities will help WGHG to continue their excellent progress on safety and quality improvement.

Nick Strybosch
Nick Strybosch
Nick leads the Product and User Experience teams at TeamAssurance.

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox