The radio was on in the background with the news while I ate lunch. I heard something that made my ears prick up. It was so interesting that I had to go to sr-play later and listen again.
The case concerned a retirement home in Värnamo, where the administration had managed to reduce staff turnover significantly and almost to zero. All by creating schedules in a “new way”.
The head of care says that “the big difference is that we don’t start with a schedule, we start with the needs of the individuals and then we look at how we need to staff to accomplish that task”.
– Wait, I’m thinking, so they start by looking at what needs there are first, and then look at what staff are needed to meet those needs? But it goes without saying that this is how it should be done.
You don’t start by looking at what staff you have, and then create schedules based on availability and then let it be what it is, with the staff we have?
This brings to mind a study in Region Skåne that I participated in a few years ago. It turned out that this was exactly what doctors were doing. They started by putting time in their schedules for when to do research, when to take time off, when to study, and then time for patients. That is, the time left over.
No wonder Swedish doctors are said to see the least number of patients per working day. According to an article in Dagens Medicin, Sweden has the highest number of doctors per inhabitant of all OECD countries. However, the average doctor sees only 2.7 patients per day. This compares to Japan, where a doctor sees 20.7 patients per day.
It’s a huge difference. Several articles state that we have good health care, i.e. when we receive the care itself it is good, but we have very poor access.
Back to planning…
If we choose as an organization to create our schedules based on our own needs, instead of looking at the needs of our customers, whatever we call them, we have an inside-out approach. That is, we look after ourselves first and then those who need our services adapt accordingly.
Don’t do that. Instead, have an outside-in focus, based on the needs of the people you serve. What help do they need? When do they need help? Then you can create the schedule. If it turns out that you are understaffed, then it is very clear and needs to be addressed.
To return to Värnamo. They had a high staff turnover when they had an inside-out approach. What does it mean for an organisation when there is high staff turnover? Yes, that you have to constantly spend resources on puzzling, introducing and spending time recruiting.
Time and money would instead be spent on providing the elderly with the care they need, expect and pay for. In addition, the elderly, in their case, are constantly meeting new individuals, which they know will not last long.
Now the head of care says that “In the past we didn’t have time to do activities and be there for the pensioners, but today we have time to be active with them”. “To invent and do activities every day.” That is, giving older people exactly what they need, expect and pay for.
So with the same amount of people, you achieve more, just because you think from the outside-in instead of the inside-out.
You put the resources and energy into the elderly, instead of chasing staff who need to be replaced, and that’s natural, because they don’t need to be replaced. They continue to work, as they find it so much more enjoyable to have the time to provide good care to the elderly, rather than chasing around a schedule that has been set with the wrong focus.
- What does it look like for you in your business?
- How do you think?
- Do you have an inside-out focus or an outside-in focus?
- And what could you do to ensure more of the latter?
Do you want a briefing on how you could think in a better way?
Contact us and I or a member of Team Clean Stream will help you.