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Whose fault is the spread of infection?!


There are now discussions in the media about whose fault it is that the spread of infection in the country has become as serious as it has. It may be good to demand accountability for decisions that are made, but personally I’m more focused on how we work forward and ensure that the mistakes found are addressed so that we don’t make the same mistakes again.

If we only chase scapegoats then everyone goes into either defence or attack mode. It rarely solves the problem itself.

One suggestion made to ensure better care for the elderly is that doctors should be employed and available in the municipality. It now appears that the existing solution, where the regions are responsible, has not worked well enough. It is terrible what is described, how old people have been put on palliative care even though no doctor has seen the old person. In a report, the Inspectorate for Health and Care writes that about 20% of the covid patients in nursing homes have not received an individual assessment.

It is a situation that can be seen both from the lack of a customer perspective and also from too much focus on the organisations. The two are often closely linked.

The proposal immediately meets with opposition. I won’t get into whether one or the other should have the right to employ doctors or not, because then I too will get stuck in the bureaucratic soup that the debaters have already sunk into. You are so wrapped up in bureaucratic words and ways of thinking that you don’t see the person you are there for.

From a process improvement perspective, as well as focusing on the customer experience, the debate is tragicomic. Instead of looking at the needs of the elderly and how they move, there was a discussion about which “box”, or “tube” if you like, the responsibility should lie in. Apparently it can’t be in both. Assuming that the region is responsible, there should be cooperation between the different municipalities and the region to solve this. However, there is also discussion about whether the responsibility should lie with the hospital or the health centre. And that’s how you keep focusing on your organisational parts.

From the old man’s point of view, it doesn’t matter which building or bureaucratic organisation will ensure that I, as an elderly person, get advice and support from a doctor when needed. I have a need here and now, and I want help here and now. My time to wait as an old man is short. It is the old man who has anxiety and worry and suffers, while the bureaucrats talk on.

If you had bothered to design the flow of the processes that exist to give older people the support they really need and are entitled to, then you would have found the roles that need to act in different occasions, and from there you would have solved the staffing, regardless of organisational affiliation.

Now you start backwards and discuss WHO before you have decided WHAT and in what ORDER it should be done. WHO always comes last when we design a process. It is when we initially put on the “WHO hat” that we never move forward and resolve the situation. It will be half-measures of all of them. When together we can find WHAT the customer, i.e. the old person in this discussion, needs and when this need arises, together we can find smart solutions. Then we start from the customer’s needs and not from our own.

My advice to you now, is not to make the same mistakes again when you sit down to sort out something in the business that is grating badly.

See who else is in the full flow and invite them to join the discussion. Then put aside your individual pride and pigeon-holing to solve the problem together.

You will find solutions that are better for the whole, even if it is at the expense of one of you. It’s actually worth some downpipe losing a little, if the customer and the business as a whole gain. You have to be prepared for this, because it is the only way to move forward together and create a common value-added flow.