‘It dawned on me this week that our morning ‘huddles’ here at Pure have gone distinctly downhill… although we still huddle every morning, sometimes we are 1 or 2 team members short, and we have stopped using our formal template. Suddenly there is no focus or direction to our morning meetings; and so we need to get back on track. We normally allow about 15-20 minutes for our huddles and all team members should be present, no excuses. It is a good idea to develop a standard template that should cover the following issues;
New Patients – are there any NP’s in today? What are their key issues? Who is going to be the NP champion?
Are there any nervous patients in today? What can we do to make their experience more relaxed and comfortable?
Any other patients that may require our special care or attention?
Any oral surgery booked today? Emergency drugs/equipment readily available?
Do we have all the required lab-work?
Are there any gaps in the appointment book? Can we use these for emergencies? How can we fill these?
Any OPG x-rays required?
Does the Treatment Coordinator have any patients? Do these require a dentist ‘pop-in’?
Check team rota for the day – lunchtime cover?
Are all necessary patient treatment consent forms in place?
Who is on patient lounge duty?
Any patient queries or concerns from yesterday?
All equipment working correctly?
Any finance applications today?
Do we have all the materials we need?
Any worries or concerns?
Lots of valid points to cover? Yes. Can this be done on 15 minutes? Yes, absolutely it can. Stay focused, go through the huddle template systematically with the team and make sure everyone particiaptes and that all points are raised.
The Morning Huddle is an essential start to an efficient and effective working day. Huddles nip any potential problems in the bud and they are a vital part of good team communication. Most importantly perhaps, Huddles ensure that all patients receive optimum patient care when they come into your practice.
I have started filing my completed daily templates; in terms of CQC compliance, this provides an audit trail to show a daily commitment to patient care through team discussion & communication. We will be ‘Huddling’ again as from today!’