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Agile in Unexpected Places

I attended the local TEDx event in Augusta, Georgia and experienced a wonderful and thought-provoking day. My biggest discovery was the application of Agile principles but it wasn’t related to software, product development, marketing, or even manufacturing. Instead, it was related to medicine.

The speaker started his TED talk by sharing a story from his military service as an anesthesiologist in Afghanistan.  A wounded soldier was being airlifted in with severe injuries and a team of four physicians with a common goal was able to save the life of their patient. It was a wonderful example of a self-organizing and cross-functional team.

After leaving the service, our speaker was disappointed to find out that his experiences were not the norm. The discussion turned to hospital bureaucracy, “care silos”,  and highly specialized doctors that don’t collaborate for the common good of the patient.

The solution as it turns out is called a Perioperative Surgical Home and according to the American Society of Anesthesiologist…

The Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) is a new patient-centered model designed to improve health, the delivery of health care and to reduce the cost of care. These goals will be met through shared decision-making and seamless continuity of care for the surgical patient, from the decision for surgery through recovery, discharge and beyond.

Each patient will receive the right care, at the right place, and the right time.

Our speaker when on to tell us how a perioperative surgical home can remove inefficiencies, redundancies, and reduce gaps in coverage. The PSH also replaces a lack of coordination and communication with a cross-specialty collaboration.

I doubt that this physician has ever heard of Agile before, but there is no doubt in my mind, we are seeing agility in action and in ways that we never expected.

 

 

 

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