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The Daily Readiness Huddle: a process to rapidly identify issues and foster improvement through problem-solving accountability

Abstract

Background

Because of the increasing complexities of providing imaging for pediatric health care services, a more reliable process to manage the daily delivery of care is necessary. Objective We describe our Daily Readiness Huddle and the effects of the process on problem identification and improvement.

Materials and methods

Our Daily Readiness Huddle has four elements: metrics review, clinical volume review, daily readiness assessment, and problem accountability. It is attended by radiologists, directors, managers, front-line staff with concerns, representatives from support services (information technology [IT] and biomedical engineering [biomed]), and representatives who join the meeting in a virtual format from off-site locations. Data are visually displayed on erasable whiteboards. The daily readiness assessment uses queues to determine whether anyone has concerns or outlier data in regard to S-MESA (Safety, Methods, Equipment, Supplies or Associates). Through this assessment, problems are identified and categorized as quick hits (will be resolved in 24–48 h, not requiring project management) and complex issues. Complex issues are assigned an owner, quality coach and report-back date. Additionally, projects are defined as improvements that are often strategic, are anticipated to take more than 60 days, and do not necessarily arise out of identified issues during the Daily Readiness Huddle. We tracked and calculated the mean, median and range of days to resolution and completion for complex issues and for projects during the first full year of implementing this process.

Results

During the first 12 months, 91 complex issues were identified and resolved, 11 projects were in progress and 33 completed, with 23 other projects active or in planning. Time to resolution of complex issues (in days) was mean 37.5, median 34.0, and range 1–105. For projects, time to completion (in days) was mean 86.0, median 84.0, and range 5–280.

Conclusion

The Daily Readiness Huddle process has given us a framework to rapidly identify issues, bring accountability to problem-solving, and foster improvement. It has also had a positive effect on team-building and coordination.

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Correspondence to Lane F. Donnelly.

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Donnelly, L.F., Cherian, S.S., Chua, K.B. et al. The Daily Readiness Huddle: a process to rapidly identify issues and foster improvement through problem-solving accountability. Pediatr Radiol 47, 22–30 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00247-016-3712-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00247-016-3712-x

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Daily management systems
  • Health care
  • Huddles
  • Pediatric radiology
  • Quality