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How to Improve Operational Outcomes

How to Improve Operational Outcomes, tips featured by SROA, top radiation oncology organization


Molly Patt is the radiation oncology department administrator at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. Patt shared details about more about her poster presentation, “Visual Management and Team Huddles Improve Operational Outcomes,” from the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Her idea came from a monthly team huddle—staff felt the team huddles were too infrequent. Staff members shared that they felt it was important for them to meet more frequently so that they could discuss daily challenges with the workflow processes, changes to processes, or the electronic medical records (EMR) system. Under Patt’s guidance, the meeting format transitioned to weekly huddles and the visual management board was introduced.

Patt shared that at first, she had some pushback from staff—they didn’t understand how a team huddle would fit into their already busy schedules and they didn’t feel confident in collecting and measuring the data. Patt made sure that her staff had the resources and support so that each individual caregiver felt confident with the process. It took around three months for staff to start having fun with it, see improvements in the process and realize that the process was there to stay.

The visual management board has allowed individual caregivers to have different responsibilities that they are passionate about. For example, if the individual caregiver was passionate about getting patients within seven days, they were in charge of this metric. If a person was passionate about the front desk, they oversaw copays, collections and talking with patients, they were in charge of this metric. During the team huddles, the individual caregivers would report on their metric. They can look at the data before the huddles and explain the findings of the metrics. Specifically, the caregivers answer the following questions:

  • Did they meet a metric?
  • If they met the metric, what steps were successful?
  • If they did not meet the metric, why and what can the in the future to fix this?

Patt remarked that the biggest changes she’s noticed with the visual management board was that it allows the staff to work together as a team, if someone is absent, any other caregiver can fill in and continue the process. The team really works together to meet the metrics.

Patt shared that the organization of the weekly huddles and having a visual management board where everybody can look at the work that they do every day is impactful. Frontline caregivers can view the metrics and see how their little jobs become huge when they see the impact to the overall organization. “I think doing this in an organized fashion and doing it every single week and not missing a huddle is really, important and has really helped drive these metrics,” said Patt.

Tune into the podcast with Molly Patt to hear more. You’ll learn about:

  • Improvements in operational outcomes
  • Different responsibilities of staff in weekly huddles
  • What the visual management board looks like
  • Feedback from staff
  • What can be done better.

We want to hear from you!

Do you have weekly huddles with staff, if so have you seen improvements to the metrics?


Listen to the podcast here

Don't have time to listen, check out the written transcript here

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