One of the most scary aspects of being involved at a senior level in a large organisation is ensuring that you have a good overview of what is happening on the ‘shop floor’. I know that senior managers are used to taking the blame (whether justified or not!) when things go wrong in the remote corners of their empire. Having a good oversight of what is happening is one of the defining features of successful management, and the more that can be done to help with that, the better.
Oversight is particularly an issue in the field of serious incident investigations. Large organisations may have many going on at one time – some routine, others not. Clearly, getting involved in the detail of all of them would be overwhelming – and would swiftly inundate the best managed in-box. I know that some healthcare organisations currently manage their serious incident portfolio by emailing around a spreadsheet to all those involved in the process to update it. Keeping track is a nightmare.
What is needed is a mechanism that allows senior managers like the medical director and chief nurse to be able to look across the range of investigations and see how they are going. I know one medical director who is concerned that they see investigation reports far too late in the process. Weeks of work might have been done to investigate before the medical director gets a chance to see that the terms of reference haven’t even identified the right issues. And this particular report was due to be sent to the coroner in advance of an inquest.
We believe that the ability to allow managers to look across the full portfolio of investigations in real time is a key advantage of Eva. This allows senior managers to ‘dip in’ to investigations to the level that suits them. They may want to follow the investigation of a particular incident closely if is raises particularly important issues. They may just want to review the terms of reference or to see how far the investigation has got. Eva allows all that. I am certain that Eva will help those who will ultimately carry the can to sleep a little more soundly at night!