Healthcare can save time creating time to care

Posted on Sunday September 1, 2019


Prof Stephen R Covey’s “Time Management Matrix” illustrates that effectiveness lies in prioritising the important which should sometimes override the urgent.

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

Priority Matrix
Adapted from Stephen R Covey “Put First Things First” from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Simon & Schuster, London UK 2013.

Quadrant 1 (Q1) shows that time spent doing important urgent tasks (crises) is that of “Necessity”. This is stressful and emotionally draining. Clinical staff under this pressure perform poorly and develop low morale.

Q2 is that of non-urgent but necessary important tasks such as planning and preparation. It is fulfilling useful time well spent, time spent here is “Effectiveness”.

Q3 is time spent on urgent tasks of no importance, second to a perception of need by others, time spent here is spoilt and is termed “Deception”.

Q4 is that of “Wastefulness” and in a context of working within boundaries of healthcare, needless and an insult to scarce capacity.

Another way of illustrating this would be to consider an office space (representing time available). Q1 space is taken up by obstructions that require immediate attention, Q3 is someone else’s clutter, Q4 is waste. Quadrants 1, 3 and 4 need attention to allow space for Q2, the useful space to get on with the job in hand. Desk spaces, toolboxes, garages are other anecdotes. Many garages are full of anything but a car.

The aim of an effective process or personal time should be to focus on importance (1 & 2) and try to plan ahead (manage 1 and focus on 2). Thus time increasingly spent in Q2 is fulfilling whereas procrastinating to a later moment increases time spent in an anxious quadrant 1. Time spent doing nothing, being idle (Q4), performing pressing tasks that could be taken on by other solutions (Q3) should be minimised.

DASHclinic is a powerful mobile app that manages healthcare clinic workflow. It allows future planning (Q2) and reduces spoilt time (Q3), processes patient pathways cutting time voids (Q4), the preparation reducing time in necessity (Q1). It serves to allow the system to get organised allowing staff to focus on the important, therefore becoming effective.

DASHclinic is effective by making time effective, creating time to care.

DASHclinic – Wait no longer.

“So often the problem is in the system, not in the people. If you put good people in bad systems, you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.” Prof Stephen R Covey