In the course of 12 months, how many new staff is brought on board in your hospital? Every one of these new people, eager to be successful, is bringing some type of document control baggage with them. Your process to implement and maintain document control is not just being influenced by your hospital’s culture but by the culture of every new staff member your hospital hires - every year.
Your new hires are bringing to your organization habits they formed from their previous experiences. These experiences will include using document control software and or managing documents manually. Someone who is not comfortable with computers may be used to having paper in their hand and available whenever they want it, while someone else may be more comfortable using an electronic file. The human factor greatly influences your document control process.
“We become what we repeatedly do” – Sean Covey
What may contribute to document habits?
- Paper documents in binders everywhere
- Ability to print any document on demand
- Poor search ability in software
- No formal document control
- How documents are named
Habits are part of the behavior of people. We tend to default to what we know and are comfortable with, especially during times of stress. Starting a new job with a new organization is stressful for most; in healthcare we add the additional layer of providing safe and effective patient care.
Learning a new process for document control is as much about changing the behaviors of people as it is learning a new way to do something. Typing “behavioral change” in a search engine yielded 23,200,000 results in .46 seconds. I doubt that document control was one of the results. If a behavioral change needs to happen to support your document control, how much time or effort is put into discovering why the habits formed in the first place? Consider learning more about the confidence your new staff had in their formal document system and think about what habits they may have developed based on their answers. It is difficult to mitigate what you don’t know.
Your document control will forever be influenced by the habits of new hires. Developing techniques to mitigate their influence from a proactive perspective and not a reactionary one will make your journey of controlling your documents a little easier.
Thank you for your interest and time to read all the way to here. I am passionate about what I do and I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about you and the journey your hospital is taking to sustainable improvement. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by calling me toll free at 1-844-424-7825. Your comments are always welcome.
Until next time,