Clear Meeting Clutter

Clear Meeting Clutter

Mar 12, 2019
  • Author:
    Vicki Searcy
    Former VP, Consulting
    Vicki has managed several credentialing and privileging practices, led a national healthcare accreditation and compliance consulting practice, was a surveyor for the NCQA, and a former president of NAMSS.

It has been a long winter (I think that Puxatony Phil was wrong this year), and to prepare for spring, it is time to clear some of the clutter that clogs our closets, garages and other places where we store items no longer used. Getting rid of clutter can be emancipating. I’ve definitely decluttered over time and it is more satisfying to have a spa-like atmosphere than to be surrounded by too much “stuff” – no matter how memorable that stuff is.

We can also clear clutter from our meetings – and it is time! I was at a Credentials Committee meeting recently where I was overwhelmed by the paper at the meeting – and I think that the members of the committee were as well. Instead of having paper files at meetings, some organizations send a notification to committee members that files are ready for electronic review – and no paper is ever printed. Recommendations and decisions are documented electronically. Talk about an emancipating process!

You may not have that level of automation (but it is available), but there are steps that you can take to clear clutter (i.e., lots of paper) from meetings.

How about posting the agenda and attachments on a secure web site that committee members have access to prior to the meeting? You can send out an email notifying them that the agenda/attachments have been posted and give them instructions on how to access them.

Have you taken advantage of the ability to take a laptop to a meeting and display the agenda and other documents to all attendees on a screen (instead of making copies of all documents for everyone)? Many organizations have taken this step.

I have worked with multiple organizations where Credentials Committees have gone paperless using the laptop/screen technology mentioned above. It has the advantage of focusing everyone’s attention on the business at hand (no fumbling around trying to find the right piece of paper in a notebook or file). Meetings are shorter and more focused. Items that need to be addressed are taken care of. And – once Credentials Committees go electronic – it doesn’t take long for the Medical Executive Committee to follow.

Think about what you can do to clear meeting clutter. It not only saves some trees, but helps to make meetings much more productive.