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The Patient Care Team Huddle 1, 2, 3 Hut, Hut!

The Patient Care Team Huddle 1, 2, 3 Hut, Hut!

Could you imagine a football team that didn’t huddle before a huge play or perhaps a basketball team taking on the floor within a championship game without huddling making use of their coach and teammates? No way! So why do we as providers and care teams take for the clinic floor without a quick review or sign in with the other person?

The best way to take control over each clinic session is always to begin each one with a simple, focused, strategic huddle. I know, I can hear you saying, “I don’t even have time to grab a fast cup of coffee before I get started with my busy day!” But remember, if we want great results, we’re have to tight teamwork and a few “perfect planning” to have them. Keep in mind, “if you neglect to plan, you then plan to fail.”

A huddle just isn’t complicated or time intensive. A good huddle can be done in as little as 15 minutes. It does require everyone to exhibit up punctually, meaning, if your first appointment are at 8:30 am everyone for the patient care team must make an appearance at 8:15 am to begin the huddle. Most teams build their huddle time to their work schedules.

Let’s take a look at what is needed for a successful huddle:

All associates present (typical teams include the provider, MA, nurse, front office member, and a flow coordinator)
Everyone is punctually!
A spot for the team to meet with room for charts (should you be still using paper charts) or with a couple of computers available (for electronic medical records) to the team to work with.
Intense and purposeful focus. No interruptions! Do not be distracted by phone calls, emails, or other staff.
Proximity! A team shouldn’t spread in a room relaxing in chairs to huddle. Imagine how sports teams huddle. They get up close, heads together, and meet with each other with focus as well as. Try to mimic this kind of huddle.

Once these components are in place, the huddle begins.

Here is the place a typical huddle discussion might go:

Provider: “Our first patient is Joe S. He is arriving in for the diabetic check in. According to his labs, Joe is having a hard time controlling his blood sugars and his weight.”

MA: “Should I ask the dietician to talk to him while he’s here to enable them to set up a counseling session?”

Provider: “That’s an excellent plan. Let’s determine if she’s available following this huddle, maybe she can come in for the room right after I finish using the visit. Let’s also see if we can get a glucometer for him given it looks like he explained last time that his other one broke.”

Nurse: “I’ll acquire one from the supply closet and show him the best way to check his blood sugars regularly.”

Flow Coordinator: “I note that you have Alicia M. scheduled following Joe. She’s Spanish speaking only. She generally seems to always have a lot of time. Let’s have Leti (the Spanish speaking MA) take her back and see as we can determine what her biggest concerns are today. If I note that you start running behind along with her, what are the patients you’d like me to option to your nurse or another provider?”

Provider: “Yes, Mike H. is simply coming in for any follow through to his hypertension. We started him on new medication and I notice that his labs look good so route him for the nurse and she can check his blood pressure levels. If everything looks good, talk about to come back in three months. Looks like he’s also due for the tetanus shot, will we get that to him today if he wants? Also, he probably needs that pamphlet on aging care and colonoscopies. He’s turning fifty pick up and I’ll want to get him checked…let’s mention that to him to acquire him thinking about it.”

Nurse: “I also notice that the patient arriving at 9:30 is arriving in for any well woman exam. Why don’t I get all of her vitals and background by the time you’re through with Alice, your 9:30 patient will probably be ready in your case.”

MA: “When I called that patient last might to remind her of her well woman exam, she told me she was having burning when she urinated.

Provider: (to nurse) “Can then you definately go ahead and get a urine to be with her when she arrives so I can have the result before I go directly into see her?”

Nurse: “Sure. She seems to acquire those infections a lot. I think I’ll get her some educational material at the same time.”

As you will see, these discussions aren’t a boring recitation in the contents of a patient’s chart, but instead a strategic planning session. In this example, you will learn that everyone contributes for the discussion of the sufferer and offers methods to utilize resources for sale in the clinic in order to meet the patient’s needs. The team also anticipates potential conditions might surface during the clinic session and strategizes how you can handle them. It is so much calmer getting yourself ready these bumps before they happen in lieu of dealing with them in the midst of seeing patients, isn’t it?

One last item about the huddle… it also serves as the opportunity to do a simple check-in with each team member. How is everyone feeling today? Is anyone leaving early? Is anyone out today? How can we support each other through the session, etc… Don’t underestimate the importance on this brief check-in. A high performing team causes it to be a point to learn the status of each one team member simply because they know that everyone is critical to the success of the team. If one body’s going to be out or possibly feeling within the weather tomorrow, the huddle is the team’s opportunity to problem-solve and decide how best to allocate their resources.

So could be the Patient Care Team Huddle to suit your needs? Give it a try! Don’t get us wrong, it is going to take discipline and a consistent effort because others on your team is probably not on board right away to the idea. The best method to get buy-in is usually to show everyone the benefits with the huddle. Those benefits include improved efficiency, superior performance, increased communication, plus a well-oiled team that’s ready to take charge in the day. If these sound good for you, then what are you awaiting? Let’s get able to huddle!