27 January 2010

Another healthy checklist!

Just come across another checklist derived from research with a wide number of nurses. Developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement - these "Eight High Impact Actions" are designed to guide nurses to transform care and quality:
  • Your skin matters – ensuring no avoidable pressure ulcers
  • Staying safe – preventing falls
  • Keeping nourished – getting better
  • Promoting normal birth
  • Important choices – where to die when the time comes
  • Fit and well to care
  • Ready to go - no delays
  • Protection from infection
The full 'Nursing Times' (thank you to them) article can be seen here (or a quick summary here).

Inner tube tyres: vending machine

Thank you @OxfordSpring for this link to a German system of vending inner tubes for marooned cyclists. Could we have something like this here?

The power of the checklist

Yes - we all 'hate' checklists and all that infuriating 'box-ticking' that goes along with it... But are we in danger of overlooking the power and usefulness of a good checklist that has been well researched?

Listening to the radio this morning (BBC Radio 4) I heard a piece about how the airline industry & World Health Organisation has been working with the NHS to deploy the 'Surgical Safety Checklist'. The main principle of this seems to be about team work and making sure that, at the start of an operation, everyone knows what they are doing.

To quote a well known meerkat - "simples!"

There are the other stories about these developments here, here and here. And there is more information about the whole approach to create "The Productive Operating Theatre" on the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement here.

But back to checklists... how many other services could be improved for want of a good checklist? Whenever I talk about 'knowledge management' (which is often over complicated beyond belief) I talk about the value of a simple checklist as being the embodiment of practical knowledge.

What checklists do you work with... and what new ones would help?

UPDATE: A couple of good articles here too: New Yorker 1 & New Yorker 2

23 January 2010

Kent County Council: making research more collaborative and cost-effective.

(Thanks to fellow blogger and KCC Research Support Officer, Kirsty  Russell for this contribution)

Kent County Council has long been acknowledged as an ‘innovative council’. It has led the way on several fronts including Telecare and Telehealth, the Kent Payment Card, Gateways, Kent TV and a vast range of service specific projects.
In addition to those ground breaking initiatives, the Technology Research and Transformation Team has been looking at how the innovative use of technologies and tools can change the way business is done, support individuals to work smarter and enable knowledge and ideas to be exchanged seamlessly.

This has taken many forms, from the establishment of e-Catalogues to Innovations Fairs through to the development of a public sector ‘mash-up’ service. Our recent focus has been directed towards the deployment of tools that are more collaborative and cost effective. Part of that process has been the establishment of a blog called iNews.

You may be wondering why we are using blogging techniques rather than more traditional mechanisms? Primarily it’s because we recognise that it’s often difficult to find out the latest news and views across a broad topic area. At the moment we are testing out a range of new tools as we want to develop mechanisms for enabling ‘innovation conversations’ with a range of individuals and organisations including officers, Members, partners, private, public, third and FE sectors and the public. Blogging offers an alternative to more traditional ‘broadcast’ mode options as it is immediate, interactive and offers the capability for multiway dialogues.

We want to use emerging technologies to provide a better understanding of key topics as well as establishing a platform for comments, ideas and challenges. From using games to influence behaviours, clubbing for jobs to sharing links on managing knowledge, we feel it’s by sharing stories that we can best convey how innovation can help realise benefits, maintain tangible change and reduce risks.
In addition to sharing what we do, we also use the blog to highlight other projects, reports, conversations, ideas or articles via a free social bookmarking service (http://delicious.com/KCCInnovation). People can opt in to receive a daily digest of research findings, and they can personalise what areas are relevant to them by filtering for specific topics. To maximise participation and help users feel comfortable about using this new way of communicating we provide tips and guidelines on how to blog.

Other ideas we are currently researching and developing include better use of semantic web tools to enable greater engagement, text to speech visual presenters that may potentially save users and staff up to 40% of their time in answering standard questions by an enhanced (and hopefully intuitive) FAQ system, the impact of disruptive technologies on an organisation, opportunities within Web 3.0 and how interactive gaming tools can increase and strengthen community interactions. Clearly there is a lot happening and we welcome readers’ contributions and comments via i-News.

For more information please contact Kirsty on kirstyjoanna.russell@kent.gov.uk and visit our blog which can be found here: www.transformedbyyou.blogspot.com

21 January 2010


Just to note that this blog has now had 10,000 page loads since I started it back at the end of February last year. Woohoo!  Thank you and welcome to all readers, visitors and regulars.


Another new eBook on Employee Engagement!

Just published

Employee Engagement: Powerful Sentences of Advice for Managers

Another stimulating book from the employee engagement ning developed by David Zinger. Some sample sentences:

  • Check your own engagement regularly - you need support, recognition and inspiration as much as your employees, in order provide an environment that will engage your people fully. (Anna Buxton)
  • Care for people around you and get to know who they are, what strengths they bring and what’s important to them. (Lisa Sansom)
  • Understand every member of your teams motivation, align their aspirations to a clearly communicated business direction, give them all the tools to do the job and then empower them to deliver. (Susanne Jacobs)

11 January 2010

Parking - more innovation!

I am sure that most of us hate parking! The whole process of parking from finding a space, squeezing your car into it and then paying the charge can all be very tiresome. The paying bit especially is tricky when you don't have enough change. Especially as parking charges are going up - who wants to be weighed down with bucketfuls of loose change.

One answer to this problem is below where Westminster introduced mobile phone paying. A good idea but one that slightly scares me if truth be told. But then along comes an even better idea (in my view) from Southampton. Moreover it is an idea that a citizen had: Oyster (type) cards to pay for parking. What a great idea!

More information here - thanks to the Daily Echo.

07 January 2010

Salt and stuff: innovation in Cumbria

In these Arctic times - innovation & creativity are clearly are huge value. I know from personal experience how dangerous minor roads can be in the current cold snap. Therefore it was great to read about this story (thank you LocalGov.co.uk) about Cumbria County Council's response to the crisis:


A northern council is using an innovative method to treat minor roads in the current extreme weather conditions. On Monday, Cumbria County Council had opted to only treat priority one and two routes due to dwindling salt stocks, but has now started treating priority three routes using sea washed stone chippings from a local supplier....

(more from the link above)

This sounds like a fresh idea and so congratulations to the staff and councillors who had this brainwave!