Hint: You don’t have to look very hard
There are numerous types of techniques and tools that can be used for process improvement.
The most unique facet about using shadowing for process improvement is the word experience. Anyone has the ability to observe an experience, where you must obtain certificates and go through numerous hours of tedious training to become familiar with other process improvement techniques. These certifications end up costing sizeable amount of money to any sized organization.
Shadowing is a process and experience improvement technique that anyone is capable of doing. From the head of your medical team to your summer intern, anyone at your organization is capable of improving Care Experiences for your patients and families through shadowing.
Shadowers who are less familiar with the Care Experience are often the best option. Therefore, new hires and interns are an excellent and affordable source of help because commonly they are exposed to Care Experiences for the first time through Shadowing. The most common shadower profiles are:
- New Hires
- Health Professions Students
- Light Duty Staff, Summer Interns, and Volunteers
Although shadowing can be done by anyone, there are a few characteristics that make a great shadower. Here’s a quick list to help you to identify the strongest candidates at your organization to find your high-impact shadowers:
Personable and Empathetic: Shadowers who are able to immerse themselves into the patient’s and family’s Care Experience and the underlying feelings are most equipped to capture the genuine experience.
Observant and Detail-Oriented: Showing an acute attention to detail enables shadowers to capture the small details, such as faded parking signs or directional maps that are confusing patients in the onset of their Care Experience at a facility.
Unbiased: The best shadowers are those who have no previous knowledge or bias about the Care Experience in question. This provides them a true Shadowing experience with no preconceived opinions from the Care Givers’ perspective, which leads to a more open-minded point of view on solutions and improvement opportunities.
Strong Communication: Shadowers are not “Secret Shoppers.” They are there to record the experience and identify opportunities for improvement, not to evaluate the staff. Everyone should be aware of the shadower’s presence and purpose. Strong communication between shadowers and Care Givers helps to provide the best results.