How can healthcare executives prevent their days from being taken over by meetings? Here are eight great ideas from your peers.
Thirty seven. That’s the average number of meetings executives have each week, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, which also reveals that executives are spending a whopping 72% of their work day in meetings.
Terry Platchek, MD, vice president of performance improvement at Stanford Children’s Health, blocks out one to two hours of prep time per hour of meeting. His planning starts with setting a thoughtful, reasonable, and actionable agenda.
Another tip? Put the topic that requires the most discussion at the top of your agenda.
Meetings shouldn’t be about getting updates from members of the team, says Kelly Johnson, RN, PhD, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Stanford Children’s Health. Instead, set the expectation that everyone will be tackling the tough issues and coming up with solutions during the meeting.
That’s advice from Ed Clark, MD, associate vice president for clinical affairs and president of the University of Utah Medical Group. “Everyone’s perspective must be respected, and everyone must contribute either voluntarily or by invitation,” he says.
This is a great way to make sure everyone is participating, says Clark. If a meeting participant seems distracted, he invites them to “lean in.” Just as important is managing meeting participants who attempt to dominate the conversation, he adds.
Clark ends a meeting with this question: “What have we accomplished?”
He recommends having a team member who isn’t running the meeting summarize the meeting and reframe accountabilities. This technique frees up the meeting leader to focus their undivided attention.
That’s according to Kaveh Safavi, MD, head of consulting firm Accenture’s global health practice. The format’s short enough to keep everyone focused and precise enough so that everyone takes it seriously, he says.