Making Effective Use of the Huddle in Medical Practices


Making Effective Use of the Huddle in Medical Practices. Because there are several components to the huddle, all of which are important. so the first is that the medical
assistant can start the day even before the Huddle by doing what’s called scrubbing the
chart what this means is that he or she goes through the chart of
every patient on the schedule for the day and looks
for care gaps in high-priority items that the care
team has established and identifies care gaps that
need to be closed during the visit for every single patient scheduled so for
example on in an example up here gap might be evidence-based preventive care
measures such as immunizations or cancer screening or the team might have decided on certain high-priority up chronic
illnesses in which to using evidence-based
guidelines to close care gaps in patients with diabetes or
hypertension or asthma or other diseases like that So the actual huddle: Who needs to be
there? First of all, obviously, the provider who’s providing the care and anybody who that he or she is sharing the care with so this may be in
the most simple teams that maybe up one or two medical assistants. But you
could also be sharing the care with a person in the
clinic who’s providing services to more than one team such
as a dietitian or a social worker or behavioral
health person or say for example free a chronic
illness nurse The teams will differ in their composition based on the size and
composition of the panel or they’re taking care of. And
you may have providers who share a panel for example. You might have a physician and physician assistant working together
and if they’re both in the clinic then both should be at the huddle at the
same time. But it’s essentially everyone who is involved with the care of that panel. If the huddle,
though, is too big and it’s really two providers taking care of two different patient
populations, then you need to split the huddle up because the whole point is to get to it very
efficiently. So the actual tasks that have to take place
in the huddle when looking at each chart has to be
fast so the the first thing that you’re gonna
look for is is there any missing information that needs to be gathered up
such as the the the results of a referral or maybe
some test that was done outside the clinic since the last visit: or it
may be a cure transition that there needs to be a document from
the emergency room so so any information that needs to
be put together for that visit needs the put down the list (a task list for that patient). Obviously the list of tasks for closing care gaps that the
medical assistant put together prior to the huddle needs to be gone through and
prioritized. Some things may need to be added some
the things may need to be dropped. And then there’ll also be any other
continuity issues for the patient. There may be equipment that needs to be
in the room, such as an eye tray or liquid nitrogen. And so it’s but but those are
essentially the tasks that need to be done for each patient. In addition to that, that team needs to be
very clear how the medical assistant will prep the chart who will actually get the chart
ready for the provider to make sure that all the tasks discussed in little actually take place.
Because remember the providers is extremely busy and is is constantly being interrupted
in having new things to think about with each visit. So the medical assistant may, for example, actually place orders and pend them in
the chart. There may be components of the provider’s template
that the medical assistant can place into their
chart note for the provider to act as a visual prompt to do the tasks that were agreed on in the huddle. And the last part of the huddle is to simply look for where there is
some flexibility. In other words, to identify that place in the schedule
where there will be the team will be extremely busy and may have to drop some of the tasks
simply to stay on schedule or there may be some visits in which there will be
some slack and if there’s needs to be in at a
patient added into the schedule that that they can agree on the best time to do that. In summarizing I’d like to make a few points that that are important. First is to keep
the huddle short. It needs to be no more than 10
minutes in length. Second, start small. There’s no reason to do this
all at once. It’s not necessary to have the
the medical assistants scrub the chart immediately. They can do that after
that teams has had a huddle for several months and they really get the hang of it. In
addition to that, it’s important to identify the the
strengths and weaknesses of the team members and provider can learn how to delegate to
strength and to teach weakness. And finally, don’t boil the
ocean. I mean if there’s too many
tasks to do on any individual patient just do one or two
each time the patient is roomed. The point is to stay on schedule and move
things along and over the weeks and months that the team is working that care outcomes will
start to improve and the tasks that need to be done on every single patient coming in get fewer and fewer.

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