I’m sure you remember the movie with Bill Murray called “Groundhog Day”, where Murray is a TV weatherman who is trapped in a time loop of repeating the same day again and again on Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Well, we have seen the same phenomenon with hospital value analysis teams who repeat the same team meeting again and again. We have mentioned before how we frequently read the minutes of value analysis teams, going back a year, and are flabbergasted by how the same items are on their agenda month after month and even year after year.
There are three reasons why this “Groundhog Day” is happening with value analysis teams, and they are as follows:
1. No time line for completing projects: Every value analysis project needs a beginning and an end or it will go on forever. In our value analysis model we give the VA project manager 90 days to complete his or her project. If the project isn’t completed in 90 days, then the hospital’s value analysis steering committee must approve an extension of the project.
2. No accountability for project completions: Each VA project should be assigned to a VA project manager who is accountable for its completion. This way there is no buck passing, obfuscation, or excuses for not completing a project on time and on budget.
3. Lack of urgency to get things done: A sense of urgency must be created with your VA team members to get projects completed. As mentioned, this can be accomplished with deadlines, steering committee oversight, or prodding.
However, if you decide to speed up your projects, you must create a sense of urgency to get them done in a timely manner. If you look at your own value analysis team and find that they, too, are experiencing “Groundhog Day” you owe it to your hospital and yourself not to repeat this non-productive behavior. It can be quickly corrected with these three tactics which have worked every time we have employed them.