Technology has enabled many things in life to move from once-a-quarter, to continuous. It’s time to leverage technology to enable management in healthcare to do the same.   

In most health systems, performance management is a once or twice a year process driven by annual reviews and led by HR. There are numerous reasons why this happens, including compensation, unions, and administrative overload.  Some health systems are trying to break this mold, but struggle with not overwhelming their managers with too much process.  

Beware of the burden 

“Too much process” is a real concern, because “continuous” enables real-time actions and intervention which can distract. The catch — and it’s a big one — is that most “continuous” solutions are overburdensome, distracting, and annoying to use. We have all had the experience where we set up an alert, like on an Apple Watch, and then turn it off two days later because it’s an annoyance. We do this because the solution has not struck the correct balance between helpful to core work, and distracting.  So we abandon it.  

Continuous Performance Management  

One solution to creating this balance is by creating a real-time, continuous, push feed, that gives the manager autonomy and decision-rights about when and how they want to be alerted. This feed is integrated into core workflows for the manager.  So, when the manager is doing their core work – e,g, rounding, time and attendance, and performance management – they see a continuous feed of potential actions alongside that is complementary to the work that they are doing.  They can then decide when and how to incorporate this assistive technology into their work.  We have found that when this feed happens in-line with workflow, it gets used quite frequently. 

Continuous, done properly, allows the manager to reinforce positive behavior and to correct issues.  In this construct, the job of the manager is continuous fine-tuning of performance.  Performance of a team should gradually, but relentlessly, elevate toward a goal.  No matter what result you desire to achieve, continuous monitoring and feedback solutions will achieve better results, as long as this solution is not distracting from core work.   

This chart depicts performance mangement

This sets up the powerful concept of continuous performance management (CPM).  CPM allows for scalable and real-time performance management processes, rather than annual or episodic ones. The main barriers to best-in-class CPM are lack of live data (such as HR or time and attendance or LMS), getting managers to use the tool, and being able to stimulate data-based and incremental management actions. Laudio has solved these barriers by integrating a push feed of data into workflows (for more on this read, Bridging the Management Gap – Workflows and Nudges) and saving managers time. 

Solving the Healthcare Management Problem 

We believe a live, in-line assistive feed can solve all kinds of management problems.   The continuous feed can consolidate and solve many issues for healthcare managers which would normally splinter their time such as recognition, celebration, accountability, feedback, onboarding, and even service-related or quality and safety issues.  Going forward we are looking to integrate more data and to touch more areas, and to explore concepts where any data can be integrated into the feed, with customized actions.  One can even imagine a solution that presents actions to the manager for any sensor, any data, at any time.  We are working on it!