SafetyDog

Brainwrite, not storm!

In Patient Safety, Root cause analysis, Teamwork on September 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

When a safety issue arises hospitals often convene a team to come with ideas for a safer process. Three types of teams include project teams, virtual teams, and quality circles. A project team is time limited and focused on a one-time output (Borkowski, 2011). They are usually formed to solve a particular problem and exist only until that problem is resolved (Landy & Conte, 2010). A virtual team needs technology to exist. These teams can be permanent or task focused and are defined by their ability to work across time, space and physical distance (Borkowski, 2011). Quality circles are like mini think tanks where a group of employees convenes to identify problems and generate ideas (Landy & Conte, 2010). This group submits these suggestions to management who then decide whether to act on these proposals (Landy & Conte, 2010)…more

A project team is made up of members who would have some expertise or influence over the problem or task at hand. This type of team or task force is frequently used in the hospital environment. Membership in these task forces is usually in addition to one’s regular job responsibilities (Landy & Conte, 2010). Quality circles are usually comprised of members chosen by managers (Landy & Conte, 2010). These are usually permanent teams of 6-12 people involved in continuous improvement type activities (Landy & Conte, 2010). Virtual teams are unique in that they offer the most flexibility for obtaining a diverse expert group of employees through the use of technology such as video conferencing, email, web pages, and message boards. This type of team would allow talented members of a hospital staff to participate in many teams even if they work varied schedules such as night shifts and weekends.
Regardless of the type of team assembled, the most gain comes from the diversity of the group. Therefore it is important to solicit information from all members. One way to do this is through the brainwriting technique. This is similar to brainstorming however individuals write down their own ideas before sharing with the group to prevent the hindrance of groupthink. One method of brainwriting is called the 6-3-5 technique. To generate ideas a group of 6 people gather and write down 3 ideas on their own without any group discussion. This is continued 5 times or as many times as needed for ideas (Chummuel, 1999). The group can be given new sheets of paper each time of be asked to trade papers and expand on the ideas already written or generate three new ones (Mind tools, 2010). When all the ideas are generated these are posted and the group prioritizes the most useful. For more information on this technique visit Mind Tools.com. This is an amazing site with lots of group resources. Mind tools

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