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Video Post - How do I find the time to do NIATx? I'm already totally strapped for time, and short-staffed as well.

Posted by daveg on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 02:13 PM

Start by giving your change projects a defined timeline. You can conduct a change project in as little as two weeks—if you make them very small. Break the project into small parts that can be accomplished in small time frame. Hold people accountable for small tasks. Once you gain momentum, people will find the time to do more.

Having a short defined time period for the project also helps to recruit change team members, who may be more willing to commit to a short project than one that stretches on for months. Change team meetings will be more productive as you work to complete your project within the defined time period.

Central New York Services participated in the NIATx 200 project. Says NIATx Coach Kim Aichner, “We actually did two- week change cycles and the message was, you can try anything for two weeks. Also, if you focus on a project to start with that will help to reduce paperwork or something that actually makes the team members’ jobs easier, it is well worth the initial time investment.”

One easy strategy for finding time: build your change team meetings into currently scheduled regular meetings. Thus, the weekly clinical meeting might include a few minutes on the latest NIATx change project. This may require a few additional people (or a few less people) in that portion of the meeting, but it eliminates the need to create another meeting.

Kevin Gabbert of the Iowa Department of Public Health offers this example as a response to the question, “Where do I find the time for a change project?”

“I certainly understand that time is an issue. Everyone is being asked to do more with less, but let me give you an example of what Provider ABC did. By reviewing their paperwork and assessment process in a two-week change cycle, they were able to reduce the time it takes for this process by nine minutes per assessment. This led to Provider ABC being able to schedule two additional assessments per week. At a rate of reimbursement of $125 per assessment, this translated into a potential increase of $13,000 per year. This is just one example of how NIATx can help you make the most of your time and better position your agency for what the future may hold.”

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