One of Those Days
Will disorganized task management derail efficiency at Shannon’s practice?
It was just going to be one of those days; it was only 10:15am and Shannon’s teeth were already on edge. She and Teresa seemed to be bumping into each other all morning and it was slowing everyone down.
“Hey, Shannon, do you know where the office supply order list is?” asked Teresa. I was going to take care of that this morning.
“Oh, I gave it to Tana yesterday afternoon so that she could add whatever she needed,” said Shannon.
“But she’s not in on Wednesdays and I need to get the order in today or else we’re going to run out of stuff we really need!” Teresa huffed.
“I’m really sorry, Teresa,” Shannon said. “I didn’t realize you already had a procedure in place for the ordering. I’ll go check Tana’s desk to see if I can find the list.”
Later that morning: “Teresa, I can’t find my call list for last week’s patients,” Shannon said. “You know I like to follow up with the most critical cases so that I can make sure they’re feeling better.”
“You were so swamped with patients on Monday that I took care of the calls,” said Teresa. “I should have let you know, I’m sorry. Yesterday I emailed you the information on the patients I was able to reach.”
Finally, mid-afternoon: “Shannon, I’ve looked everywhere for the test results for last week’s patients so that I can scan them and attach them to the proper patient records,” said Teresa. “Do you know where they are? I blocked out a couple of hours this afternoon to take care of that.”
Shannon looked down at her feet. “I’m so sorry, Teresa, I took them home last night so that I could check on a couple of patients who may need adjustments to their care plans,” she said. “This morning was crazy at my house, the records are locked up in my home office.”
The two eyed each other warily.
“We’ve been getting in each other’s way all day,” said Teresa. “This is definitely a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.”
“I know, we’ve wasted so much time searching for missing forms and files,” admitted Shannon. “As long as we’ve worked together, it’s still impossible to know who is supposed to do what, and when. There are so many tasks that need to be accomplished, some every day, some for each patient, and the sheer volume makes it difficult to keep track of everything.”
“It would be great if we could know just by looking at our computers what needs to be done, by what date it needs to be done and who is responsible for making it happen,” mused Teresa. “That would save us so much time and aggravation.”
Could Shannon’s practice be performing better with a more efficient and transparent task management system?
Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.